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EU to decide on Apple’s Shazam deal next month

By | Published on Friday 16 March 2018


Competition regulators in the European Union will decide by 23 Apr whether to green light Apple’s acquisition of Shazam, or whether a more detailed four month investigation into the deal will be required. The European Commission confirmed last month that it would investigate the tech giant’s bid to buy the music recognition app.

The Shazam deal, reportedly worth $400 million, wasn’t actually big enough for the EU to automatically investigate the transaction. However, the deal did require approval from regulators in Austria under merger rules there, and it decided to bounce the investigation up to the EC. Six other European countries then backed Austria’s call for the Commission to investigate whether Apple owning Shazam will “adversely affect competition in the European Economic Area”.

The EC’s announcement that it would, after all, investigate the Shazam acquisition meant Apple needed to provide documentation to the regulator. According to Reuters, that happened this week, hence the 23 Apr deadline for the EC’s initial opinion on the matter.

Shazam does currently promote digital music services that compete with Apple within its app, allowing people to link through and play identified tracks on other streaming platforms. Once in Apple’s ownership, it might not want to promote its rivals in that way and, equally, its rivals might not want the tech giant knowing how many Shazammers are clicking through to their services.