Apple’s acquisition of Shazam under EU investigation for antitrust concerns

After initial consideration, European Commission has launched an antitrust investigation into Apple’s recent acquisition of music identifying service Shazam.

Shazam does not offer music for streaming, but it is able to direct users to listen to identified tracks through various streaming services like Google Play Music and Apple Music. One of the commission’s concerns is that Apple will use Shazam’s status as the leading identifier service to bolster Apple Music from its number two usership status in Europe — Sweden-based Spotify has the largest base. It could do so by limiting or removing entirely referrals to third-party services.

But it’s not just about referrals that regulators is worried about — it actually “does not consider Shazam as a key entry point for music streaming services.

The main question is what Apple might do with the existing referral data garnered from user-service directories that have taken place. The question there is if Apple Music would obtain an unfair competitive advantage with data from the UK firm it wishes to take over.

Investigators will be digging into the case for the 90 working days and, based on the evidence gathered, the commission will either approve or deny the acquisition on or before September 4.

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About The Author
Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.