You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

EU Opens In-Depth Investigation Into Apple’s Acquisition of Shazam

The European Union opened what it called an in-depth investigation into Apple’s proposed acquisition of London-based music identification service Shazam, E.U. regulators announced Monday. Regulators are concerned the acquisition could reduce choice for music streaming services, they said in a press release.

“The way people listen to music has changed significantly in recent years, with more and more Europeans using music streaming services,” E.U. commissioner Margrethe Vestager said.”Our 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.”

Apple officially announced the acquisition of Shazam in December. The company didn’t reveal a purchase price at the time, but the deal is reportedly worth $400 million. Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Monday morning.

Shazam is best known for its music recognition apps, which have been downloaded more than 1 billion times across a variety of mobile platforms. Apple hasn’t detailed its plans for the company, but said in a statement in December that the two were “a natural fit, sharing a passion for music discovery and delivering great music experiences to our users.”

On Monday, the European Commission said it was concerned about what this pairing up would mean for others in the market. “The Commission is concerned that, following the takeover of Shazam, Apple would obtain access to commercially sensitive data about customers of its competitors for the provision of music streaming services,” it said. “Access to such data could allow Apple to directly target its competitors’ customers and encourage them to switch to Apple Music.”

Regulators said they would also investigate whether competing streaming music services would be harmed if Shazam were to stop sending them any referral traffic. Shazam used be a significant source of referral traffic for music downloads, with executives at one point claiming that users of its app bought 500,000 songs a day. The app’s impact on streaming services is unknown.

The European Commission plans to conclude its investigation by Sept. 4.

More Digital

  • Facebook Logo

    Facebook Shuts Down Controversial Ovano VPN App

    Responding to a continued backlash over its data collection practices, Facebook pulled the plug on its Ovano VPN app Friday. Ovano, which promised users an added level of privacy while using public Wifi hotspots, was used by Facebook for market research purposes. Facebook removed the app from the Google Play store Friday, and the company [...]

  • Smosh

    Smosh Acquired by Rhett & Link's Mythical Entertainment

    UPDATED: Smosh, the long-running YouTube comedy brand, has been acquired by Mythical Entertainment, the company formed by Rhett & Link, hosts of comedy show “Good Mythical Morning.” As first reported by Variety last week, Mythical emerged as the leading candidate to buy Smosh, which was left stranded after parent company Defy Media shut down without [...]

  • China Video Streaming Giant iQIYI Loses

    Chinese Video Giant iQIYI Loses $1.3 Billion in 2018

    Chinese video streaming firm iQIYI lost over $1.3 billion in 2018, as revenues and subscriber numbers ballooned. The deepening losses reflected ever higher spending on original content production. Announcing its first full-year financials since a March IPO that launched it onto the NASDAQ, iQIYI said that it lost $1.3 billion (RMB9.1 billion) last compared with [...]

  • Roku headquarters

    Roku Aims to Top $1 Billion in Revenue in 2019, Beats Holiday Quarter Earnings Expectations

    Roku wants to become a billion-dollar company in 2019, and invest more in its ongoing international expansion. The streaming-device maker told investors on Thursday that it expects to generate between $1 billion and $1.025 billion this year, and that international growth was one of its key investment areas for 2019. Roku made these announcements as [...]

  • Vice Media

    Vice Media Taps Joe Simon as Chief Technology Officer (EXCLUSIVE)

    Joe Simon has been tapped as chief technology officer at Vice Media. The newly created role will include oversight of data analytics, engineering, information technology, media operations, media technology, post production, and systems management. Prior to Vice, Simon spent three years as Encompass Digital Media’s chief operating officer. Previously he held the chief technology officer [...]

  • att_logo

    AT&T Suspends YouTube Ad Spending as Boycott Over 'Pedophilia' Videos Scandal Widens

    AT&T, one month after it thought it was safe to advertise on YouTube again, said it is pulling all advertising spending from the world’s biggest video platform. The telco joins a boycott by marketers alarmed by the discovery that a secret group of child predators has been using YouTube to make sexual comments about kids. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content