Apple's deal to buy Shazam is under European investigation

Apple Shazam

BRUSSELS-European Union antitrust authorities on Monday opened a full-blown probe into Apple Inc.'s proposed acquisition of the popular song-recognition app Shazam Entertainment Ltd. on concerns the deal could reduce choice for users of music-streaming services.

Apple announced that it was buying Shazam in December.

In February, a handful of European countries called on the EU to carry out a regulatory investigation of the deal. TechCrunch, which was first to report the acquisition talks, pegged the price at around $400 million. Regulators are anxious that Apple will use the service to push consumers to its own streaming service, hurting competition and unfairly advantaging its own service. Shazam's main goal is to use the microphone on smartphones to listen to songs and provide valuable information to users, such as song title, artist and more.

Apple hadn't responded to a request for comment from FOX Business at the time of publication.

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

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"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. With a click, the app identifies tracks playing on the radio, at parties or as background music.

Regulators are saying that they would also investigate on the fact that if competing streaming music services would be harmed if Shazam were to stop sending them any referral traffic.

The European Commission announced today that it has launched "an in-depth investigation" of Apple's proposed acquisition of Shazam. Analysts say it is poised to overtake Spotify as the market leader in the USA within a year. The company has developed a "visual Shazam" augmented reality service, which can identify posters, ads and other products.

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

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