European antitrust regulators set deadline for Apple-Shazam probe

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

After initial consideration, European Commission has launched an antitrust investigation into Apple's recent acquisition of music identifying service Shazam. According to commissioner Margrethe Vestager, the investigation aims to "ensure that music fans will continue to enjoy attractive music streaming offers and won't face less choice as a result of this proposed merger".

Shazam was a significant source of referral traffic for music downloads, with the feedback and survey which says that the users of its app bought 500,000 songs a day.

The European Commission said in February it would consider an inquiry into Shazam at the request of EU states Austria, France, Italy, Spain and Sweden, and non-EU Norway and Iceland, which form part of the affiliated European Economic Area.

Apple has yet to reveal any specific plans it has for Shazam, but the commission's concerns do not seem particularly farfetched, and they may have played a role in Apple's decision to buy the company. As a result, competing music streaming services could be put at a competitive disadvantage. With a click, the app identifies tracks playing on the radio, at parties or as background music.

The European Commission opened an in-depth investigation, saying that the deal could give access to data allowing Apple to target customers using competitors, and encourage them to switch. Shazam also works with television shows and ads and could have a variety of other functions in Apple's broader line of services.

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The European Commission is planning to conclude its investigation by September 4.

Those rivals include Spotify, the global market leader. Apple Music has approximately 15 million users in the United States, as compared to Spotify's 18.2 million.

European regulators are anxious about Apple's access to Shazam's data.

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

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