Uncertainty over Apple’s acquisition of Shazam will linger (at least) until April 23
Apple doesn’t splash out on smaller companies very often, with its reported $400 million Shazam acquisition being by far the costliest, most high-profile deal of this nature since the Cupertino-based tech giant bought Beats Electronics for $3 billion back in 2014.
But Apple’s latest strategic move aimed at gaining an advantage over Spotify might still be deemed illegal by the European Commission. Without going into too much detail, the EU’s main legislative institution last month accepted a request from Austria, France, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Spain and Sweden to “assess under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Shazam by Apple.”
An April 23 provisional deadline has now been set for a decision concerning the potential “significant adverse effect on competition” the takeover may have in the European Economic Area. Unfortunately for Apple, the European Commission could announce its verdict next month, and formally approve the transaction, or choose to extend its investigation by up to an additional four months.
Reuters points out that the EC has “expressed concerns about big companies acquiring small but data-rich rivals” in the past, although it still seems unlikely the acquisition will be blocked altogether.
Worst case scenario, Apple Music users may need to wait a little longer than expected to see Shazam’s popular audio recognition functionality integrated into Spotify’s fiercest streaming rival.