The EU has launched an investigation into Apple's acquisition of the music identification service Shazam. There is a fear that the agreement could limit the possibilities for consumers of mobile music streaming services in the European Economic Area (EEA).
In February, several countries, including Austria, France, Iceland and Spain, asked the European Commission to evaluate the takeover to see if it was allowed under EU merger law. In the Commission's view, the agreement could have "significant negative effects on competition in the European Economic Area". This request is now being processed, setting a deadline for the investigation on 4 September.
The main concerns seem to be that Spotify and Apple are currently making 1
EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement: "The way people listen to music has changed dramatically in recent years, and more and more Europeans use music streaming services." Our research aims to keep music fans attractive music streaming offerings and will not have fewer choices as a result of this proposed merger. "
Apple confirmed that it bought Shazam in a $ 400 million deal last December. This figure is a long way from the $ 1 billion that Shazam was valued for in its most recent round of financing, but the company was struggling with profitability and only raised $ 54 million in 2016. Shazam can help Apple in several ways. Its music and sound recognition is already integrated in Siri and could allow deeper integration with iOS. Apple could also use Shazam's visual recognition technology for its ARKit efforts.