EU Green-Lights Apple's Shazam Purchase

EU Green-Lights Apple's Shazam Purchase
Apple is expected to integrate Shazam's technology into its iOS mobile operating system.

(CCM) — Apple has cleared the final hurdle to acquiring music recognition service Shazam, after a European Union investigation found that the deal did not raise antitrust issues.

Apple announced its intention to acquire Britain-based Shazam in December 2017, in order to enable its Apple music streaming service to better compete with market leader Spotify, Reuters reports. The service can identify movies, TV shows, and commercials, as well as songs, from short audio clips.

Margrethe Vestager, the EU's competition commissioner, explained in the report that the issue of data lay at the heart of its investigation. "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," she said.

The Shazam deal has been on hold since April 2018, when the EU opened its investigation. But the acquisition, believed to be worth $400 million, will now go ahead as planned.

Once completed, Shazam will no longer refer users to Spotify. Shazam's music recognition technology may also be integrated more deeply into Apple's iOS mobile operating system, enabling it to better compete with the song recognition feature that Google has integrated into its Pixel phones.

Image: © Dzmitry Kliapitski –