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European Commission approves Apple’s Shazam buy

By | Published on Monday 10 September 2018

Shazam

As expected, the European Union’s competition regulator last week approved Apple’s acquisition of audio-recognition app Shazam.

The $400 million Shazam deal wasn’t actually big enough for the EU to automatically investigate the transaction, but it did require approval from regulators in Austria under merger rules there. The Austrian regulator decided to bounce the investigation up to the EC, a move that was subsequently backed by France, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Spain and Sweden.

The EC’s competition regulators announced back in February that they were looking into Apple’s Shazam purchase. Then in April they confirmed that they were launching a full investigation into the deal. But last month sources said that approval of the purchase was looking likely and that that should be confirmed this month.

Concerns had been expressed on the impact the acquisition might have on the digital music market, as Shazam currently pushes users through to Apple’s rivals in the streaming music space. But EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said last week: “After thoroughly analysing Shazam’s user and music data, we found that their acquisition by Apple would not reduce competition in the digital music streaming market”.



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