EU Opens Extended Probe Into Apple's Shazam Buy

EU Opens Extended Probe Into Apple's Shazam Buy

It is buying Shazam for £300 million with a view to integrating the software into Apple Music, the second most popular music streaming app in Europe after Spotify.

The European Commission said it will investigate whether Apple could hurt rival music services by referring Shazam users to iTunes and not others.

Also, the commissioner's office will want to learn whether the tech giant could gain access to sensitive customer data and lure consumers from its competitors. In particular, to check whether it would contravene EU Merger Regulation, given Shazam is "the leading music recognition app for mobile devices in the European Economic Area (EEA) and worldwide".

The Commission now has time till September 4 to take a decision. Based on preliminary data provided by those seven markets, the Apple-Shazam union may have a significant adverse effect on competition. Analysts say the purchase is a part of its larger move back into music with Apple Music, a service created following its purchase of Dr. Dre's Beats Music in 2014.

The name Shazam is well known for its music recognition apps which have been downloaded almost 1 billion times across a variety of mobile platforms.

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Basically, Shazam recognises music. It also sells and delivers digital content online through the "iTunes Store", the "App Store", "iBookstore" as well as "Mac App Store". Shazam is based in the UK.

In other news, Apple Music has tapped Jay Liepis to lead its new Nashville office.

The investigation came after countries like France, Iceland and Norway requested one from the commission.

Broadcom and Qualcomm might not be the only companies to have a merger squashed due to anti-competitive fears from government officials.

More information on the transaction will be available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.8788.