Apple’s proposed takeover of the UK’s music-recognition application Shazam triggered an investigation by the European Commission on Monday under the EU Merger Regulation.
Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said the investigation will seek to ensure that “music fans will continue to enjoy attractive music streaming offers and won’t face less choice as a result of this proposed merger.” The investigation was requested by Austria, France, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Spain and Sweden.
The deadline for the completion of the investigation is September 4, 2018, that is, 90 days since the European Commission was notified of the transaction.
The Commission’s concern is that Apple’s proposed takeover Shazam last December is designed to provide the company with the data required to target customers of competing music streaming providers. The other question the Commission will be asking is whether Shazam referrals to streaming apps such as Apple Music, Spotify, and Deezer are fundamental to competition.
Shazam allows consumers to use a microphone to identify a song they hear anywhere. The app is almost unrivalled in its function. In turn, Apple Music is the second biggest streaming app in Europe.
This is the second ongoing investigation against Apple, which is already embroiled in a massive tax avoidance probe.