THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION (EC) has announced it plans to probe Apple's takeover of Shazam following requests from seven EU countries.
In December Apple 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. It's expected that Apple plans to integrate Shazam's song ID technology into the next version iOS.
Things ain't going to be as easy as the firm was hoping, though, as the EC said on Tuesday it's going to be casting its critical eye over the planned buyout.
The antitrust watchdog says multiple countries - Austria, France, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Spain, and Sweden - requested that it assess the acquisition to determine whether it's allowed under an EU merger law.
The EC said Austria submitted the request first, with the other countries following suit, adding that based on preliminary data provided by the seven countries, the deal could have an adverse effect on competition in Europe.
"On the basis of the elements submitted by Austria and the countries joining the referral request, and without prejudice to the outcome of its full investigation, the Commission considers that the transaction may have a significant adverse effect on competition in the European Economic Area," the EC said.
"The Commission has also concluded that it is the best-placed authority to deal with the potential cross-border effects of the transaction."
Apple will now have to formally ask the commission to approve the deal. The EU regulator can either clear the bid with or without conditions or open a full-scale investigation if it has serious concerns.
Apple told the Financial Times that it plans to provide the information that the EU requests, but declined to comment further on the investigation. µ
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