Depth investigation on Apple's acquisition of Shazam by EU

Apple Shazam

Companies EU Launches Investigation into Apple’s Takeover of Shazam

The regulators are concerned Apple could use new data obtained by customers of Shazam to try and encourage users to switch to its music streaming service, Apple Music.

The European Commission is causing Apple more angst by probing its acquisition of Shazam. Going forward, Shazam's data engineering knowhow will apply to multiple areas of Apple and likely bolster Siri in the future.

"The way people listen to music has changed significantly in recent years, with more and more Europeans using music streaming services", Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

Apple announced its acquisition of UK-based Shazam in December. Right now that includes Apple Music, Spotify, and others; however, the concern is that Apple could one day choose to discontinue referrals to its rivals.

European regulators are anxious about Apple's access to Shazam's data.

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According to CNN, the regulator is looking into the acquisition after requests from Sweden, Norway, France, Spain, Italy, Iceland, and Austria.

An acquisition of that size doesn't typically spark an antitrust investigation, but because of the popularity of Shazam and the amount of data it holds, regulators are anxious that Apple could end up with an unfair advantage.

My assumption is the investigation will conclude that the investigation was a complete and total waste of time and taxpayer money, and if it doesn't, I'm calling balderdash. With such data, the Commission suggests, Apple could "directly target" those competitors' customers, promoting Apple Music instead. The Commission now has 90 working days, until 4 September 2018, to take a decision.

The Shazam app uses the microphone on a smartphone or computer to identify nearly any song playing nearby, then points users to places they can listen to it, such as Apple Music or Spotify Ltd.

It's worth noting that the Commission's fears don't stem from the belief that Shazam is an actual competitor to Apple Music.

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