Apple announced that it was buying music-recognition app Shazam in December 2017, but by April 2018 the deal was still on ice after the European Commission launched an investigation into the proposed acquisition.
Yesterday, Reuters reported that the deal IS expected to get the EC’s approval, citing ‘two people familiar with the matter’. That at least hints that a decision is imminent, although the deadline isn’t until mid-September for the EC to decide whether Apple’s purchase should go through.
The issue here is less about Shazam’s size: the EC explained in April that it was more 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 in the EEA” [the European Economic Area].
“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 investigation has also explored any potential harm to rival streaming services if Apple were to “discontinue referrals from the Shazam app to them”. If the EC approves the deal, the acquisition – rumoured to be worth around $400m – should go through speedily.