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EU clears Apple for Shazam acquisition

Tim Maytom

The European Commission's competition authority has approved Apple's planned acquisition of music discovery app Shazam, saying that its antitrust investigation has found that the purchase will not harm competition within the region.

The $400m (£309m) acquisition, which was announced in December 2017, is part of Apple's plans to better compete with Spotify, the current leader in music streaming. The deal could see Shazam's technology, which enables users to identify songs and other audio sources, integrated directly into Apple Music.

"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," said Margrethe Vestager, EU competition commissioner, in a statement on the investigation. "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."

The European Commission opened a full-scale investigation into the acquisition back in April over concerns that the merger could reduce choice for users of music streaming services. The investigation was requested by seven EU countries including France, Spain, Italy and Spotify's home nation of Sweden.

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