Apple’s Takeover Of Shazam Has Been Cleared By European Union
The European Union on Thursday (9/6/2018) approved Apple’s acquisition of song-recognition app Shazam. This comes after a months-long investigation that found it wouldn’t hurt competition in the music streaming market.
In the case of Apple’s deal for Shazam, regulators questioned whether the app held important information on Apple competitors. The focus on data transfer is a departure from typical antitrust enforcement, which tends to zero in on how a deal, may affect customers in terms of a product’s cost.
“Data is key in the digital economy. We must therefore carefully review transactions which lead to the acquisition of important sets of data, including potentially commercially sensitive ones, to ensure they do not restrict competition. After thoroughly analyzing Shazam’s user and music data, we found that their acquisition by Apple would not reduce competition in the digital music streaming market.” commented EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager
Apple announced last year that it was going to buy Shazam, prompting European regulators to scrutinize the proposed takeover as part of a broader effort to examine the value of data when evaluating mergers. Shazam had been a competitor to Apple’s digital assistant Siri.
EU antitrust officials had launched an investigation in April over worries that the iPhone maker Apple would get easy access to sensitive consumer data giving it an unfair advantage over other services in attracting customers.