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EU Launches Probe of Apple’s Takeover of Digital App Shazam

Apple announced the deal in December to help it better compete with industry leader Spotify. Shazam lets users identify songs by pointing a smartphone at the audio source.

Reuters

Updated:April 24, 2018, 8:10 AM IST
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EU Launches Probe of Apple’s Takeover of Digital App Shazam
EU Launches Probe of Apple’s Takeover of Digital App Shazam (photo for representation, image Reuters)
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EU antitrust regulators opened an investigation on Monday into Apple's bid for British music discovery app Shazam, concerned the deal might give the iPhone maker an unfair advantage in poaching users from its rivals. Apple announced the deal in December to help it better compete with industry leader Spotify. Shazam lets users identify songs by pointing a smartphone at the audio source.

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The European Commission said it was concerned about Apple's access to data on Shazam's users who use competing for music streaming services in Europe. "Access to such data could allow Apple to directly target its competitors' customers and encourage them to switch to Apple Music. As a result, competing for music streaming services could be put at a competitive disadvantage," the EU competition enforcer said.

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The investigation will also examine whether Apple Music's competitors would be harmed if Apple halted referrals from the Shazam app to them. The Commission set a Sept. 4 deadline for its decision. Apple could offer concessions such as a pledge to allow fair access to Shazam to address regulatory concerns. The EU executive launched a preliminary review of the deal in February following a request from seven European countries including France, Italy, Spain and Sweden.

Apple did not give a value for the deal when it announced it in December. Technology news website TechCrunch said at the time the price could be as much as $400 million, far short of the most recent $1 billion valuations for privately-held Shazam.

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(Get detailed and live results of each and every seat of the state Assemblies in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram to know which candidate/party is leading or trailing and to know who has won and who has lost and by what margin. Our one-of-its-kind Election Analytics Centre lets you put on the psephologist's hat. Know interesting facts and trivia about the elections. Elections = News18)
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