EU approves Apple’s purchase of British music discovery app Shazam

The European Union has finally approved Apple’s strategic acquisition of Shazam, the British audio discovery mobile app. Sources say that the approval has come on the heels of the governmental antitrust enquiry statement, claiming that the acquisition would not impair competition in the union.

For the uninitiated, Shazam is a free mobile application that supports users in figuring out the name of a song being played on the television, radio, or any other music source. Users merely need to hold their iPhone device near the audio source and the application tries to identify the audio’s song title, album, and artist.

According to sources familiar with the development, the acquisition deal was announced last year, with an aim to help Apple in competing with Spotify, an industry major in music streaming services.

Margrethe Vestager, the European Union Competition Commissioner, was quoted stating that upon a thorough analysis of Shazam application’s music and user data, it was found that Apple’s acquisition of the app would not lessen competition in the digital audio streaming market.

Margrethe Vestager further stated that the European Union must cautiously review dealings which lead to the acquisition of significant sets of data, including possibly commercially sensitive data, solely on account of the fact that data is highly pivotal in a digital economy.

According to credible sources, the European Commission started a holistic investigation of the deal in April, representative of its recent concerns that firms may buy a data-rich competitor in a bid to mine information or expel others out of the industry.

Apparently, Apple was all set to win the unconditional European Union antitrust consent for the contract following the investigation requested by seven European nations including Spain, Sweden, France, and Italy.

According to analysts, before arriving to any conclusion, the Commission undertook an array of analytical measures and attained feedback from chief market players in the digital music sector, including music recognition and music streaming service providers, along with other stakeholders.