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Apple takeover of Shazam approved by the European Commission

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Shazam by Apple. The commission concluded that the merger would not adversely affect competition in the European Economic Area or any substantial part of it. Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “Data is key in the digital economy. We must therefore carefully review transactions which lead to the acquisition of important sets of data, including potentially commercially sensitive ones, to ensure they do not restrict competition. After thoroughly analysing Shazam’s user and music data, we found that their acquisition by Apple would not reduce competition in the digital music streaming market.” The decision follows an in-depth investigation of the proposed acquisition. Apple operates Apple Music, which is the second largest music streaming service in Europe, after Spotify. Shazam offers a leading music recognition application in the European Economic Area (EEA) and worldwide. The commission found that the merged entity would not be able to shut out competing providers of digital music streaming services by accessing commercially sensitive information about their customers. In particular, access to Shazam’s data would not materially increase Apple’s ability to target music enthusiasts, and any conduct aimed at making customers switch would only have a negligible impact. As a result, competing providers of digital music streaming services would not be shut out of the market. It also found that the merged entity would not be able to shut out competing providers of digital music streaming services by restricting access to the Shazam app, and the integration of Shazam’s and Apple’s datasets on user data would not confer a unique advantage to the merged entity in the markets on which it operates. Read more

  • Monday, 24 September 2018

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