The European Commission — an institution of the European Union, responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the EU treaties and managing the day-to-day business of the EU — has opened an in-depth investigation to assess the proposed acquisition of Shazam by Apple under the EU Merger Regulation. In a statement, the EC says it’s concerned the merger could reduce choice for users of music streaming services.
In December 2017 it was reported that Apple was acquiring Shazam, the popular music recognition app that’s used by more than 100 million people each month to identify music, get song lyrics, and more. The price of the acquisition hasn’t confirmed. However, it’s rumored that the deal is for $400 million.
“The way people listen to music has changed significantly in recent years, with more and more Europeans using music streaming services,” says Commissioner Margrethe Vestager. “Our investigation aims to ensure that music fans will continue to enjoy attractive music streaming offers and won’t face less choice as a result of this proposed merger.”
At this stage, the EC says it’s concerned that, following the takeover of Shazam, Apple would obtain access to commercially sensitive data about customers of its competitors for the provision of music streaming services in the EEA. Access to such data could allow Apple to directly target its competitors’ customers and encourage them to switch to Apple Music, according to the regulatory agency.
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