European Union calls for competition review of Apple's takeover of Shazam

EU regulators to assess Apple's purchase of British music app Shazam

The European Commission said in a statement that Apple was not required to notify the bloc of its planned purchase because the move didn't meet the revenue thresholds set out by Europe's merger guidelines.

The Shazam app, which lets users identify a recording by pointing a smart phone at the song, has been downloaded more than a billion times since its commercial rollout in August 2002.

The interference of the European Commission could scupper those plans though.

The European Commission has announced a review of Apple's acquisition of music discovery service Shazam - agreeing to a request made by several countries to weigh competition concerns. According to people familiar with the transaction the reported $400 million price would make it one of Apple's largest acquisitions, Bloomberg reported.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple registered the deal with regulators in Austria as it worked on acquiring the British software company.

Under the EU Merger Regulation, there is a provision which allows Member States to request that the Commission assesses a merger that affects trade within the Single Market and could significantly affect competition within the territories of the requesting nations. "The Commission has also concluded that it is the best placed authority to deal with the potential cross-border effects of the transaction". Whether or not this will affect the deal remains to be seen, but then again regulators investigating acquisitions that could result in a monopoly or anti-competitive behavior isn't new and is sometimes to be expected.

The purchase of the UK-based app was announced by Apple in December. Once in Apple's ownership, it might not want to promote its rivals in that way and, equally, its rivals might not want the tech giant knowing how many Shazammers are clicking through to their services.

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