Tuesday, 18 September, 2018

Apple's Shazam takeover investigated over competition concerns

The European Commission will investigate Apple's takeover of music startup Shazam | Emmanuel Dunand  AFP via Getty Images The European Commission will investigate Apple's takeover of music startup Shazam | Emmanuel Dunand AFP via Getty Images
| 24 April, 2018, 05:34

"Our investigation aims to ensure that music fans will continue to enjoy attractive music streaming offers and won't face less choice as a result of this proposed merger".

Ahead of that filing, seven countries asked the European Commission to review the deal for possible repercussions for the music industry including Sweden - home to Spotify - and France, where Paris-based Deezer is headquartered.

First reported by Reuters, the European Commission has formally moved to launch an "in-depth" four month investigation into the proposed deal before allowing or blocking Apple's takeover of Shazam.

"As a result, competing for music streaming services could be put at a competitive disadvantage", the European Commission said in a written statement. The EC says the risk of Apple buying Shazam is limiting choice of music streaming services... However, Apple has not responded to a request for comment on Monday Morning. Regulators also said they have concerns about Apple's gaining access to data on Shazam users and the competing music services they use. The question there is if Apple Music would obtain an unfair competitive advantage with data from the United Kingdom firm it wishes to take over. That feature is key to the European Commission's investigation, as the regulatory body is concerned that Apple shutting off referrals to other services could hurt competition.


Apple's purchase of Shazam was paused by the European Union pending an antitrust investigation.

Those rivals include Spotify, the global market leader.

The technology is also no longer quite as novel, with Shazam facing rivals such as SoundHound and with smartphones capable of ever more advanced recognition functions.

One of the main issues appears to be how the music identification platform refers users to streaming services. Apple has invested deeply into adding augmented reality capabilities to the iPhone and other products.

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