European Commission to examine Apple’s acquisition of Shazam

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 — says it’s accepted a request from Austria, France, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Spain and Sweden to assess under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Shazam by Apple. 

The Commission will look into whether the transaction may threaten to adversely affect competition in the European Economic Area (EEA). The EEA is the area in which the Agreement on the EEA provides for the free movement of persons, goods, services and capital within the European Single Market, including the freedom to choose residence in any country within this area. The EEA was established on Jan. 1, 1994. The European Single Market is a single market which seeks to guarantee the free movement of goods, capital, services, and labor – the "four freedoms" – within the European Union, the political and economic union of 28 member states that are located primarily in Europe

Apple's proposed acquisition of Shazam does not meet the turnover thresholds set by the EU Merger Regulation for mergers that must be notified to the European Commission because they have an EU dimension, the organization says. It was notified by Apple for regulatory clearance in Austria, where the transaction meets the national merger notification threshold.

Austria submitted a referral request to the European Commission requesting the examination of a merger that doesn’t have an EU dimension but affects trade within the Single Market and threatens to significantly affect competition within the territory of the Member States making the request. Subsequently Iceland, Italy, France, Norway, Spain and Sweden joined the request. The Commission will now ask Apple to notify the transaction.

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.