European Commission reviewing Apple’s acquisition of Shazam

On Tuesday, the European Commission said in an announcement that it has received requests from Sweden, Spain, Norway, Italy, Iceland, France and Austria to review Apple’s planned purchase of Shazam, which is currently pending approval.

The EC will assess whether competition in European markets will be adversely affected by the deal.
The statement says that the deal might have a “significant adverse effect” on competition in the area under its jurisdiction, and concludes that the EC is in the best position to deal with possible cross-border effects that might ensue.

The organisation gave no details on how the transaction could negatively affect competition, but Shazam currently has agreements with European firms such as Spotify that might come under pressure if the acquisition goes through. It is, however, standard practice to review such large acquisitions – so it could be approved without much ado.
Apple confirmed its intentions to buy Shazam last month. In a statement the company said that it was excited about Shazam’s team becoming part of Apple and that Apple Music and Shazam were a natural fit.

Shazam is a hugely popular service because it can identify not only the name but also the lyrics of music videos, songs, television shows and more. The company currently has apps for iPad, iPhone, Mac, Apple Watch and iMessage. The service has also been integrated into Siri since the release of iOS 8 and it forms part of streaming music services such as Apple Music.

Shazam issued an announcement in September 2016 stating that, since their launch, Shazam’s mobile apps had been downloaded by more than one billion people. The firm’s iPhone app was first introduced ten years ago. It uses a complicated system of machine learning algorithms to recognise clips. Since that time the app has also expanded into other areas, including augmented reality.

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