EU regulators to take closer look at Apple-Shazam deal

EU regulators to take closer look at Apple-Shazam deal
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European Union antitrust regulators want to look into Apple’s purchase of the music-identification service Shazam.

The regulators are concerned Apple could use new data obtained by customers of Shazam to try and encourage users to switch to its music streaming service, Apple Music.

“As a result, competing for music streaming services could be put at a competitive disadvantage,” the European Commission said in a written statement.

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The regulators also noted concern over the potential for Apple to remove referral links to other music streaming services in its app.

“Our investigation aims 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," European Commission antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager said of the probe.

The commission’s probe of Apple follows a string of regulatory scrutiny and subsequent action taken against major technology companies in the past few years.

European regulators have levied multibillion-dollar fines over tax arrangements and anticompetitive behavior by Apple and Google, respectively. It has also fined Facebook and probed Amazon in recent years.

Apple announced that it would acquire Shazam in December and filed for EU approval of the deal on March 15. Analysts say the purchase is a part of its larger move back into music with Apple Music, a service created following its purchase of Dr. Dre’s Beats Music in 2014.