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EU approves Apple's acquisition of Shazam

This removes the last major obstacle in the acquisition, clearing the way for the completion of the deal.

  • Published: September 7, 2018 1:35 PM IST
Shazam logo cover

The path has finally been cleared for Apple to complete its acquisition of Shazam, about nine months after the electronics giant announced that it intended to purchase the music-identification app. The European Union has given its approval for the acquisition, after it had announced that it would review the deal in April 2018 over anti-competition concerns.

The concern applies to the digital music streaming segment, which is currently dominated by Apple Music and Spotify. The European Union’s investigation committee for this matter earlier felt that Apple’s acquisition of Shazam could give it an undue advantage in this field, considering that Shazam is itself in the field of music technology. However, the committee has concluded that the acquisition won’t serve to reduce competition in the field.

The EU’s original concern related to whether Apple could choose to only allow Shazam to link to Apple Music from within its own app, preventing users from going to Spotify and other streaming services as a result. Additionally, Shazam is a valuable source of user data, which can be crunched to provide useful analytics to Apple.

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Apple is acquiring Shazam for $400 million, and now has the approval to go ahead with its acquisition. While Shazam will likely keep operating in its current form within Apple, there could be certain changes to the way it works going forward. Shazam’s most popular offering is a music-identification tool, which lets users identify any song being played by using the device’s microphone to capture an audio clip and running that through the system. Users can then choose to access that track in a variety of streaming services, which in India include Google Play Music, Apple Music and Saavn, to name a few.

  • Published Date: September 7, 2018 1:35 PM IST