Apple's acquisition of Shazam under European Union investigation for antitrust concerns

Apple's acquisition of Shazam under European Union investigation for antitrust concerns

"The Commission is concerned that the merger could reduce choice for users of music streaming services", it said in a statement.

Last December Apple announced its intention to buy Shazam, the well known music recognition service.

The EU executive launched a preliminary review of the deal in February following a request from seven European countries including France, Italy, Spain and Sweden. It would complement Apple Music nicely in the company's portfolio, but the deal has just hit a wrinkle. TechCrunch, which was first to report the acquisition talks, pegged the price at around $400 million. As a result, competing music streaming services could be put at a competitive disadvantage. Currently, the app will identify a song and then refer people to a streaming music service such as Spotify, Deezer or Apple Music to purchase it. Regulators also said they have concerns about Apple's gaining access to data on Shazam users and the competing music services they use.

The proposed acquisition, which the European Union has the power to block, would give Apple ownership of an app that helps users identify songs before directing them to Apple Music or Spotify AB to listen to and potentially buy or stream them.

Investigators will be digging into the case for the 90 working days and, based on the evidence gathered, the commission will either approve or deny the acquisition on or before September 4.

Those rivals include Spotify, the global market leader. With a click, the app identifies tracks playing on the radio, at parties or as background music.

Apple Music is also a key component in the marketing of the HomePod smart speaker, which relies on Apple Music as its sole music service.

In other words, it's a farcical sham of an excuse to mess with Apple.

European regulators have levied multibillion-dollar fines over tax arrangements and anticompetitive behavior by Apple and Google, respectively.

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