Apple under ‘in-depth’ EU investigation over Shazam acquisition

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    Video: Shazam will make Apple smarter

    The European Commission is launching an “in-depth” investigation into Apple’s proposed acquisition of music recognition app Shazam.

    The Commission’s primary concern is that Shazam would give Apple access to commercially sensitive data about the customers of its competitors in the European Economic Area. With that data, the Commission posits, Apple might be able to directly target its competitors’ customers and lure them over to Apple Music.

    “As a result, competing music streaming services could be put at a competitive disadvantage,” according to the EC press release.

    Read also: Apple’s purchase of Shazam goes well beyond music as it adds data, algorithm knowhow and talent

    Meanwhile, the Commission is also looking into whether Apple Music’s competitors would be harmed if Shazam only referred potential new customers back to Apple, rather than to Apple Music rivals like Spotify and Deezer.

    The Commission has now set a Sept. 4 deadline to investigate the concerns.

    Apple announced its acquisition of UK-based Shazam in December. The deal serves multiple purposes for Apple beyond hooks into services such as Apple Music. Shazam houses a team that’s skilled at training models, developing algorithms, and managing data.

    Going forward, Shazam’s data engineering know-how will apply to multiple areas of Apple and likely bolster Siri in the future.

    PREVIOUS AND RELATED COVERAGE

    EU to investigate Apple’s Shazam purchase for antitrust issues

    The European Commission received requests to investigate from Austria, France, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Spain, and Sweden.

    The business of Shazam: Why an Apple iOS partnership would be a boon

    Apple may integrate Shazam’s song ID technology into the next iOS. If the partnership plays out, Shazam would likely see a boost to song referral fees and more importantly set itself up for more uses for its technology.

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