News September 7, 2018

European regulators clear Apple’s acquisition of Shazam, “negligible impact”

Staff Writer
European regulators clear Apple’s acquisition of Shazam, “negligible impact”

European regulators have green-lighted ’s $400 million acquisition of British song-identifying app after a six-month investigation it could be anti-competitive.

“After thoroughly analyzing Shazam’s user and music data, we found that their acquisition by Apple would not reduce competition in the digital music streaming market,” competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said.

The two major concerns about unfair advantage for the EU were, firstly, that Apple would bring in a rule that only Shazam could link out to after a purchase, which would rob services as European-based Spotify of valuable clicks.

Secondly, Apple could use Shazam’s data on people’s listening habits to “encourage them to switch to Apple Music.”

Apple Music is the second largest streaming service in Europe, after Spotify, and chasing top spot.

“Data is key in the digital economy,” Vestager added.

“We must therefore carefully review transactions which lead to the acquisition of important sets of data, including potentially commercially sensitive ones, to ensure they do not restrict competition.

“Access to Shazam’s data would not materially increase Apple’s ability to target music enthusiasts and any conduct aimed at making customers switch would only have a negligible impact.”

The regulators found that Apple and Shazam ‘mainly offer complementary services and do not compete with each other’

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