Apple’s takeover of the Shazam music streaming app is now a step closer to reality now that the deal has won the necessary approval of the European regulators. As per norms, the authorities have to ensure any deal will only be allowed to pass through if it is found to not have any adverse effect on the competition.
Shazam is a UK based start-up that has emerged as one of the most prominent music recognition apps in operation in the region. Apple already has a sizeable presence in the music streaming pace, with a scale of operation second only to market leader Spotify. However, with Apple and Shazam coming together, there has been concerns from different quarters if the deal will put the competition – read Spotify – to an undue disadvantage and such.
In fact, with several countries in the European Economic Region raising concerns over the deal, the usual review process by the regulators soon got transformed into a complete investigation. Among the aspects of the deal that were closely scrutinized were whether Apple would have access to sensitive customer records; and if the company can use such data to lure the customers into using Apple Music services.
Also, with Shazam being in the business for long and having developed a leadership position during the time, the regulators also checked whether Apple would force Shazam to stop the referrals it did before being acquired by Apple. Of course, this was done to ensure the competition were not harmed once the deal went through.
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News of Apple acquiring Shazam first went public in December 2017, with the Cupertino based company also confirming the same a few days later. The deal was worth $400 million though the exact amount was never made public. Apple, however, is yet to react to the development and hasn’t stated how they wish to proceed with the deal from here onwards.