European Union to review Apple's reported $400m purchase of music app Shazam

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According to people familiar with the transaction the reported $400 million price would make it one of Apple's largest acquisitions, Bloomberg reported.

When Apple announced its acquisition of Shazam on December 11 past year, it said in a statement: "We are thrilled that Shazam and its talented team will be joining Apple".

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The tech giant will need to formally ask for European Commission approval after Brussels revealed it would example the deal following requests from seven countries. However, the deal required approval from regulators in Austria under merger rules there, and it has made a decision to bounce the investigation up to the EC.

Apple in December confirmed that it's acquiring UK-based music discovery service Shazam in a deal worth $400m touting the service as a "natural fit" for Apple Music, and it's expected that Apple plans to integrate Shazam's song ID technology into the next version iOS. The deal serves multiple purposes for Apple beyond hooks into services such as Apple Music. And because Shazam is based in the United Kingdom, the European Commission can investigate the deal legally.

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Austria, France, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Spain and Sweden requested that the Commission assess the acquisition as the proposed bid did not meet the revenue threshold to trigger an European Union review. 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. It may incorporate the app's song-identifying technology into Apple Music, but if it shuts the app down Sweden-based Spotify would lose referrals.

The reason behind their requests is that they're concerned Apple's buying of the market-leading music recognition app could actually have fundamentally adverse effects on competition across borders.

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