The EC today announced that it has accepted requests from Austria, France, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Spain, and Sweden to assess Apple's proposed acquisition of music identification service Shazam, which is pending approval.
The regulatory body would consider whether the transaction could have a significant adverse impact on competition in Europe.
Confirming its plans to acquire Shazam in December Apple said in a statement provided to the media,''We are thrilled that Shazam and its talented team will be joining Apple. Since the launch of the App Store, Shazam has consistently ranked as one of the most popular apps for iOS. Today, it's used by hundreds of millions of people around the world, across multiple platforms. Apple Music and Shazam are a natural fit, sharing a passion for music discovery and delivering great music experiences to our users. We have exciting plans in store, and we look forward to combining with Shazam upon approval of today's agreement.''
The purchase of the UK-based app was announced by Apple in December. According to people familiar with the transaction the reported $400 million price would make it one of Apple's largest acquisitions, Bloomberg reported.
The Shazam app uses the microphone on a smartphone or computer to identify almost any song playing nearby, points users to places where it may be available for the listening pleasure such as Apple Music or Spotify Ltd.
According to commentators, the acquisition would help Apple embed that capability more deeply into its music offerings.
The EU may be worried that with Shazam under Apple's control, the iPhone maker could choose to make Apple Music the only option for listening to tracks.
This may result in some referrals from Shazam getting diverted away from London-based Spotify. With the acquisition Apple also gets access to a large user data base of people's musical interests.