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EU hits pause on Apple's deal to buy Shazam

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

Posted: Apr 23, 2018 7:36 PM
Updated: Apr 23, 2018 7:36 PM

The European Commission has launched an in-depth investigation into Apple's acquisition of music recognition app Shazam, delaying one of the tech company's biggest deals by at least four months.

"The Commission is concerned that the merger could reduce choice for users of music streaming services," Europe's top antitrust regulator said in a statement.

It said that the deal would combine two significant players in the digital music industry that are active in complementary business areas.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Shazam said it couldn't imagine a "better home" than Apple, and looked forward to the deal closing.

"Shazam was one of the first apps available when the App Store launched in 2008, we have worked together on music ever since, and the whole team is excited about the future," it said in a statement.

The Commission is concerned the deal could give Apple access to commercially sensitive data about the customers of its competitors, and that Apple could use it to hurt its rivals.

"The way people listen to music has changed significantly in recent years, with more and more Europeans using music streaming services. Our investigation aims to ensure that music fans will continue to enjoy attractive music streaming offers," said Margrethe Vestager, Europe's top official in charge of competition.

Apple said it was buying Shazam in December. It said the two companies "share a passion for music discovery," adding it had "exciting plans in store."

The regulator said in February that it would look into the merger after requests from Austria, France, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Spain and Sweden.

The price of the Shazam deal was not revealed by either company. TechCrunch, which was first to report the acquisition talks, pegged the price at around $400 million.

That makes it one of the biggest deals Apple has ever done. It paid $3 billion for Beats Electronics in 2014. In 1996, it bought NeXT for about $400 million.

Shazam, founded in 1999, said in 2016 that its app has been downloaded more than one billion times.

The European Commission said it would complete its investigation by September 4, 2018. It could then decide to approve the deal, with or without conditions, or block it altogether.

-- Seth Fiegerman contributed to this article.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 161516

Reported Deaths: 3916
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10708104
Hinds10519205
Harrison7555113
Jackson6708128
Rankin6130112
Lee547697
Madison5202110
Forrest400187
Jones382189
Lauderdale3727147
Lafayette344057
Washington3367108
Lamar307550
Lowndes261167
Oktibbeha259962
Bolivar250185
Panola240253
Neshoba2311122
Marshall227151
Leflore213991
Monroe212278
Pontotoc211231
Lincoln200867
Sunflower195555
Warren184958
Tate184051
Union176826
Copiah172540
Pike168360
Pearl River163870
Yazoo162940
Scott162730
Itawamba162637
Alcorn160428
Coahoma157844
Prentiss156732
Simpson155153
Adams148352
Grenada147145
Leake143344
Holmes135761
Covington135541
Tippah132530
George131725
Winston131726
Hancock130942
Wayne124924
Attala124735
Marion124248
Tishomingo114844
Chickasaw112132
Newton112129
Tallahatchie100727
Clay97127
Clarke95653
Jasper88523
Stone83115
Calhoun81513
Walthall79930
Montgomery78826
Carroll76315
Smith75716
Lawrence75214
Yalobusha74428
Noxubee74217
Perry69326
Tunica63519
Greene63022
Jefferson Davis60217
Amite59315
Claiborne59316
Humphreys55719
Quitman5117
Benton50518
Kemper49318
Webster47914
Wilkinson41322
Jefferson38712
Franklin3726
Choctaw3697
Sharkey33117
Issaquena1234
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 260359

Reported Deaths: 3776
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson34716513
Mobile20452370
Madison14215153
Tuscaloosa13755173
Montgomery12731243
Shelby1110278
Baldwin9341137
Lee801566
Morgan722855
Etowah692170
Calhoun6809121
Marshall675058
Houston552739
DeKalb512940
Cullman480246
St. Clair460357
Limestone455046
Lauderdale443357
Elmore432567
Walker3861112
Talladega381157
Jackson361623
Colbert341546
Blount315845
Autauga289342
Franklin262634
Coffee257717
Dale244454
Dallas234932
Chilton233641
Covington232434
Russell23153
Escambia206932
Tallapoosa190291
Chambers187551
Clarke164120
Pike163814
Marion148236
Winston144725
Lawrence137336
Pickens129720
Geneva12818
Marengo126724
Bibb125238
Barbour121429
Butler120042
Randolph107022
Cherokee106724
Hale101432
Fayette99916
Clay94825
Washington93921
Henry8996
Monroe84611
Lowndes82629
Cleburne80714
Macon77122
Crenshaw73330
Conecuh72914
Lamar7258
Bullock70919
Perry6987
Wilcox65518
Sumter59522
Greene44518
Choctaw43519
Coosa3824
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