Date
25 May 2018
The European Commission is concerned that  Apple's acquisition of  Shazam might give the iPhone maker an unfair advantage in poaching users from its rivals. Photo: Bloomberg
The European Commission is concerned that Apple's acquisition of Shazam might give the iPhone maker an unfair advantage in poaching users from its rivals. Photo: Bloomberg

EU opens competition probe into Apple’s bid for music app Shazam

EU antitrust regulators have opened an investigation 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, Reuters reports.

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.

The European Commission said on Monday it was concerned about Apple’s access to data on Shazam’s users who use competing 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 music streaming services could be put at a competitive disadvantage,” the EU competition enforcer said.

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.

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RC/CG

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