European Regulators Approve Apple's Acquisition of Shazam

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The European Commission today announced it has approved Apple's proposed acquisition of music recognition service Shazam.


"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," said Margrethe Vestager, European Commissioner for Competition.

The regulatory body concluded that Apple and Shazam mainly offer "complementary services" and "do not compete with each other," and that a merged Apple-Shazam entity would not adversely affect competitors in the European Union:

In particular, 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. As a result, competing providers of digital music streaming services would not be shut out of the market.

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

While the Commission did not name any specific companies, Apple Music's biggest rival in Europe is Spotify, headquartered in Sweden. Shazam is currently integrated with multiple services, including Apple Music, Spotify, and Deezer.

Apple announced its plans to acquire Shazam in December, describing the two companies as a "natural fit" with "exciting plans" ahead. In February, however, the 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.

Via: Reuters

Tag: Shazam

Top Rated Comments

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27 months ago
It will be interesting to see how Shazam functions post-acquisition. I guess if people cannot open a shazamed track in anything but Apple Music, this will just naturally prop SoundHound, etc. to take Shazam’s current top spot as the cross-platform music ID app.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
27 months ago

Sure, but how many people subscribe to multiple services in the first place?

Sorry for the confusion.

I was talking about song-discovery apps (Shazam and SoundHound), which are both free for the time being. So it is just a matter of using one or the other. So I was saying that if Shazam does not allow its users to open a recognised track in Spotify, its current users might just move to another music ID app, like SoundHound. I was not saying that people will switch from one streaming service to another, even though it might encourage some. ;)
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
27 months ago

It will be interesting to see how Shazam functions post-acquisition. I guess if people cannot open a shazamed track in anything but Apple Music, this will just naturally prop SoundHound, etc. to take Shazam’s current top spot as the cross-platform music ID app.

Sure, but how many people subscribe to multiple services in the first place?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
27 months ago
Well... somebody is going to buy soundhound next. Probably Samsung. Trying to mimic what Apple. Something that they do best.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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