Apple can not buy Shazam yet. European Commission investigates the effects of the acquisition
Apple announced it has started to buy Shazam since the end of last year, but the transaction is not yet ready to be completed. The European Commission is now in the way of this acquisition and will make a decision if it approves it or not after an investigation. It seems that the reason would not be the monopoly on technology, as there are competitors for Shazam, but the information that Apple will have access to after the merger.
Shazam is the most popular music tracking service in Europe, based in the United Kingdom. It identifies music for users and then directs them to stores such as Apple Music, Spotify or Google Play Music to buy or listen to the song on their own device. Apparently, this capability is problematic for Apple, as the company could use the data that Shazam has collected over time to gain an edge in the streaming and selling music market, knowing what users are not use his service and more easily track him with advertisements for his service
What the European Commission wishes to determine is whether Apple can use this data for such purposes. It seems that the purpose of the investigation is to ensure a free market, which users can have multiple choices in content streaming. In theory, there is nothing that would prevent Apple from removing links to other services on Shazam once the company enters its portfolio. Representatives from several countries like Austria, France, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Spain and Sweden have asked for this investigation to determine whether or not the acquisition contravenes the laws on mergers between companies across the EU
The European Commission now has 90 working days to come to a conclusion, which ends only on September 4, 2018. Meanwhile, the acquisition is paused, but it is likely that the two companies also have time to find a solution through which to speed up the process and to reduce the suspicions raised by the European Union