Apple under 'in-depth' European Union investigation over Shazam acquisition

AFP EU launches'in-depth probe into Apple plan to buy music app Shazam

EU Probe Puts Apple's Shazam Deal at Risk

The European Union (EU) on Monday opened an extended competition investigation into Apple's takeover of British music identification service Shazam, meaning a delay for the $400 million (£287m) deal, which was announced in December.

Shazam allows users to identify songs by pointing a smartphone or tablet at speakers playing music. The deal serves multiple purposes for Apple beyond hooks into services such as Apple Music.

"The way people listen to music has changed significantly in recent years", said EC Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, "with more and more Europeans using music streaming services". It will also check if Apple Music competitors would be harmed if Apple were to stop Shazam referring customers to them.

In its announcement about the move, the Commission said the investigation was prompted by concern that the merger "could reduce choice for users of music streaming services".

According to the EC, Apple Music has become Europe's second-largest music streaming service provider behind Spotify, and by virtue of the Shazam acquisition "would obtain access to commercially sensitive data about customers of its competitors for the provision of music streaming services".

The Commission has now set a September 4 deadline to investigate the concerns.

Shazam was founded in 2002 and made one of the first apps for the iPhone.

Latest News