Apple's Shazam acquisition sparks 'in-depth' European Union antitrust investigation through September 4

AFP EU launches'in-depth probe into Apple plan to buy music app Shazam

AFP EU launches'in-depth probe into Apple plan to buy music app Shazam

It was reported in a press release by the European Union that a new in- depth investigation into Apple's proposed acquisition has been opened by the European Union on account of Shazam, a London-based music identification service.

The app already presents users with a link to buy songs on Apple's iTunes download service, which provides Shazam with revenues as well.

The European Commission's involvement follows seven countries including Austria, France, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Spain and Sweden deferring to the regulatory group to make a decision on Apple's purchase of Shazam. TechCrunch, which was first to report the acquisition talks, pegged the price at around $400 million.

The European Commission said it was concerned that the takeover could see rivals' music streaming services put at a competitive disadvantage to Apple Music.

Shazam only recently announced it had become profitable, thanks to advertising and steering traffic to other sites such as Spotify and Apple Music. Right now that includes Apple Music, Spotify, and others; however, the concern is that Apple could one day choose to discontinue referrals to its rivals.

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The European Commission is planning to conclude its investigation by September 4. Concerns stem from "Shazam's strong market position in the music recognition apps market and Apple's market position in the music streaming services market". However, Apple has not responded to a request for comment on Monday Morning. Analysts say it is poised to overtake Spotify as the market leader in the US within a year.

"At this stage, the Commission is concerned that, following the takeover of Shazam, Apple would obtain access to commercially sensitive data about customers of its competitors", the agency said in a statement.

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.

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

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