Published: Tue, April 24, 2018
Sci-tech | By Lila Blake

European Union regulators to take closer look at Apple-Shazam deal

European Union regulators to take closer look at Apple-Shazam deal

Antitrust regulators worry that Apple could receive sensitive data of music streaming competitors through the Shazam service and that Apple could remove the in-app referrals to the competitors.

"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", EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

The Siri feature available on iOS devices can already recognize songs, but there are other competitive reasons why Apple might want to acquire Shazam, and why the European Union would be concerned about such a 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.

Apple announced plans to acquire Shazam in December in a deal believed to be valued at $400 million.

Apple Music and Shazam are a natural fit, sharing a passion for music discovery and delivering great music experiences to our users.

Digital services are increasingly important to Apple as iPhone sales slow.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment. It added that it wanted to prevent Apple from blocking Shazam from referring users to other music services. Apple moved to close the deal back in March when the European Commission took control of the approval process, and a decision to OK the deal or launch an in-depth investigation was promised today.

Those rivals include Spotify, the global market leader.

In other words, it's a farcical sham of an excuse to mess with Apple. In addition to standalone apps across multiple platforms, Shazam's identification technology has been integrated into Apple's software for years, and can point users towards full tracks to purchase or stream.

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