Apple breathes sigh of relief after EU approves Shazam acquisition

23 Aug 2018

The Shazam logo. Image: ximgs/Shutterstock

Despite some tension between the two parties, the EU has reportedly given unconditional approval for Apple’s takeover of UK-based Shazam.

Apple is now all set to acquire what it has chased for the best part of a year: UK-based music discovery app Shazam.

For years, Shazam has helped eager listeners find new music being played on the radio or at a party, as well as finding an answer for those who can’t quite remember the name of a song.

Now, Reuters is reporting that two people close to the deal have said Apple has secured unconditional antitrust approval from the EU to buy it out.

The first reports that Apple were agreed a deal to acquire Shazam popped up in December of last year but, since April of this year, the European Commission (EC) has been conducting a large-scale investigation into the deal.

It was reported at the time that Apple had paid $400m for the platform, not long after it was valued at $1bn.

Given the EC’s issues with other major US tech companies over a possible unfair dominance of the market, the international government body was concerned that Apple’s purchase of Shazam might also give it an unfair advantage.

Big plans ahead

Apple’s plans with Shazam are quite extensive, with it hoping to butt in on Amazon’s dominance in the smart home speaker marker, building the music discovery app into its HomePod device.

It will also be integrated into all Apple devices, giving Shazam considerable advantage over other music discovery apps.

Another concern the EC had was that Apple might halt Shazam’s ability to link in a song with other music streaming providers, such as Spotify.

While the EC’s competition spokesperson, Ricardo Cardoso, refused to comment on the matter, the EU executive is expected to make a formal decision by 18 September.

It is worth noting that the EC’s involvement in the case only began after a number of European countries – including France, Italy, Spain and Sweden (home to Spotify) – requested its involvement.

The Shazam logo. Image: ximgs/Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic