So it's done: the European Commission has confirmed its approval of Apple’s acquisition of music-identification firm Shazam, explaining that it won’t have any negative effects on competition. A statement from competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager reads:
Data is key in the digital economy. We must therefore carefully review transactions which lead to the acquisition of important sets of data, including potentially commercially sensitive ones, to ensure they do not restrict competition. After thoroughly analysing Shazam's user and music data, we found that their acquisition by Apple would not reduce competition in the digital music streaming market.
The EC also explained that:
access to Shazam's data would not materially increase Apple's ability to target music enthusiasts and any conduct aimed at making customers switch would only have a negligible impac- [...] Shazam's data is not unique and Apple's competitors would still have the opportunity to access and use similar databases.
The EC’s investigation was the last regulatory barrier to the acquisition going through.
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