European Regulators Concerned Apple's Proposed Shazam Acquisition Could Hurt Competitors Like Spotify

The European Commission today announced it has opened an in-depth investigation into Apple's proposed acquisition of Shazam.

apple shazam
The regulators are concerned that the merger could reduce choice for users of streaming music services in Europe. In particular, they believe that Apple could gain access to sensitive data that could allow Apple to directly target its competitors' customers and encourage them to switch to Apple Music.

While the European Commission did not name any specific services, Apple Music's biggest rival in Europe is Spotify, headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden. Other competitors include Deezer, Tidal, and Google Play Music.

European Commission competition chief Margrethe Vestager:

The way people listen to music has changed significantly in recent years, with more and more Europeans using music streaming services. 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.

In addition, the European Commission said it will investigate whether Apple Music's competitors would be harmed if Apple were to discontinue referrals from the Shazam app to them following the acquisition. Shazam's app currently integrates with multiple services, including Spotify and Deezer.

The regulators have set a September 4, 2018 deadline to reach a decision, delaying an Apple-Shazam merger for at least 90 days.

Apple announced its plans to acquire Shazam in December, describing the two companies as a "natural fit" with "exciting plans" ahead. In February, the European Commission received requests from Austria, France, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Spain, and Sweden to assess the deal under European merger law.

Shazam is a popular service that can identify the name and lyrics of songs, music videos, TV shows, and more. It has apps across iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, iMessage, and Mac, while the service has been built into Siri since iOS 8.

Top Rated Comments

ideal.dreams Avatar
76 months ago
So, Apple will have to promise to continue to allow Shazam to list other streaming services when it makes referrals. They'll probably agree to that. Now, if they could just force Apple to allow the Homepod to use other services.
They should have zero control over that. Apple manufactures and sells its Homepod and has a right to limit its streaming services to Apple Music only.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rorschach Avatar
76 months ago
allow Apple to directly target its competitors' customers and encourage them to switch to Apple Music.
The horror! A company trying to convince users of a competing product to switch to its own! We cannot allow that!
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jakexb Avatar
76 months ago
So, Apple will have to promise to continue to allow Shazam to list other streaming services when it makes referrals. They'll probably agree to that. Now, if they could just force Apple to allow the Homepod to use other services.
Don’t understand how anyone is forcing Apple to do anything. If Spotify wants to make a Spotify speaker, are they going to be forced to support Apple Music?
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jayducharme Avatar
76 months ago
I don't understand how this is a problem. Shazam isn't a streaming service; it simply identifies songs. I guess Apple could engineer it so that it displayed songs only on Apple Music and tried to steer users to buy it if they don't already have Apple Music. But I'm sure in that case another app would come along to fill in the gaps.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jbc25 Avatar
76 months ago
It almost sounds as though they don't actually understand what Shazam is. Like they're assuming it's another music streaming service.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MacBebe Avatar
76 months ago
I don't understand how this is a problem. Shazam isn't a streaming service; it simply identifies songs. I guess Apple could engineer it so that it displayed songs only on Apple Music and tried to steer users to buy it if they don't already have Apple Music. But I'm sure in that case another app would come along to fill in the gaps.
Exactly.

It is up to the customers who they pick as their streaming service. This complain doesn't make sense.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

General Apps Messages

Apple Announces 'Groundbreaking' New Security Protocol for iMessage

Wednesday February 21, 2024 6:00 am PST by
Apple today announced a new post-quantum cryptographic protocol for iMessage called PQ3. Apple says this "groundbreaking" and "state-of-the-art" protocol provides "extensive defenses against even highly sophisticated quantum attacks." Apple believes the PQ3 protocol's protections "surpass those in all other widely deployed messaging apps," according to its blog post:Today we are announcing...
Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

Six Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Thursday February 22, 2024 4:20 am PST by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models concurrently, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different, and already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
iOS 17

iOS 17.4 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Monday February 19, 2024 6:52 am PST by
Apple last month confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released in March, and the update includes several new features and changes for the iPhone. Key new features in iOS 17.4 include major App Store changes in the EU and Apple Podcasts transcripts. The update also adds new emoji and includes preparations for the launch of next-generation CarPlay later this year. More details about the new...
iPhone Notch

Apple Explored These Notch and Dynamic Island Designs for iPhones

Friday February 23, 2024 2:05 pm PST by
With the iPhone 14 Pro models in 2022, Apple introduced the Dynamic Island, which can morph and expand to display system alerts, sports scores, and a variety of other information. The feature makes the space surrounding the front camera and Face ID sensors useful compared to the notch on older iPhone models. Apple explored a variety of ideas for the iPhone's notch area over the years before...
Oled iPads and MackBook Pro Notch

Apple's OLED Roadmap: New iPad Mini, Foldable iPad Pro, and More

Wednesday February 21, 2024 5:29 am PST by
Apple is planning to launch at least nine new devices with OLED displays across the iPad and MacBook product lines, according to an updated forecast from research firm Omdia that sets out the company's plans in detail. As widely rumored, Apple's push to transition to OLED will apparently be jump-started by the release of new 11- and 13-inch iPad Pro models this year. The displays will...
Next Generation CarPlay Porsche 1

Apple Launching Next-Generation CarPlay This Year With These New Features

Wednesday February 21, 2024 2:03 pm PST by
Apple recently updated its website to confirm that the first vehicle models with next-generation CarPlay support will debut "in 2024." This wording is shown on Apple's regional websites for the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and many other countries. The iOS 17.4 beta includes code-level references to eight new CarPlay apps:Auto Settings: This app will let you manage paired iPhones...
cracked glass vision pro

Handful of Apple Vision Pro Units Develop Identical Crack in Cover Glass

Friday February 23, 2024 4:46 am PST by
A small number of Apple Vision Pro owners have claimed that their headsets developed a hairline crack down the middle of the front cover glass, despite having never been dropped or mishandled. Photo of hairline crack in Vision Pro front glass (credit: Reddit user Inphenite) The first report was posted in the subreddit /r/VisionPro about 18 days ago, and several more have appeared in the last...