Apple's Shazam buy probed as European Union targets music app's data

The success of the Shazam app has led to the success of Beat Shazam an American game show

The European Commission has launched an in-depth investigation into Apple's acquisition of music recognition app Shazam.

However, several EU countries, including Austria, France, and Italy, asked the European Commission in February to review the deal to ensure it didn't run afoul of regulatory requirements. Although, the purchase price was not revealed at that time, it was reported that the deals costs around $400 million.

"The way people listen to music has changed significantly in recent years, with more and more Europeans using music streaming services", Margrethe Vestager, the EU's head competition commissioner, said in a statement.

Apple Music and Shazam are a natural fit, sharing a passion for music discovery and delivering great music experiences to our users.

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However, Shazam had been valued at around $1bn in its last major funding round, suggesting it was no small move by Apple.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Currently, Apple is attempting to acquire Shazam, the program that identifies music for users who would like to know what song they are listening to. The move also means Apple will need to wait longer to get an answer on whether it'll be cleared to acquire Shazam: the European Commission has until September 4 to make its decision. "Access to such data could allow Apple to directly target its competitors' customers and encourage them to switch to Apple Music", the European Union said in its press release. Analysts say it is poised to overtake Spotify as the market leader in the US within a year.

The technology is also no longer quite as novel, with Shazam facing rivals such as SoundHound and with smartphones capable of ever more advanced recognition functions. With a click, the app identifies tracks playing on the radio, at parties or as background music. Apple has invested deeply into adding augmented reality capabilities to the iPhone and other products.

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