European Regulators Concerned Apple's Proposed Shazam Acquisition Could Hurt Competitors Like Spotify

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  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    The European Commission today announced it has opened an in-depth investigation into Apple's proposed acquisition of Shazam.

    [​IMG]

    The regulators are concerned that the merger could reduce choice for users of streaming music services in Europe. In particular, they believe that Apple could gain access to sensitive data that could allow Apple to directly target its competitors' customers and encourage them to switch to Apple Music.

    While the European Commission did not name any specific services, Apple Music's biggest rival in Europe is Spotify, headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden. Other competitors include Deezer, Tidal, and Google Play Music.

    European Commission competition chief Margrethe Vestager:
    In addition, the European Commission said it will investigate whether Apple Music's competitors would be harmed if Apple were to discontinue referrals from the Shazam app to them following the acquisition. Shazam's app currently integrates with multiple services, including Spotify and Deezer.

    The regulators have set a September 4, 2018 deadline to reach a decision, delaying an Apple-Shazam merger for at least 90 days.

    Apple announced its plans to acquire Shazam in December, describing the two companies as a "natural fit" with "exciting plans" ahead. In February, the European Commission received requests from Austria, France, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Spain, and Sweden to assess the deal under European merger law.

    Shazam is a popular service that can identify the name and lyrics of songs, music videos, TV shows, and more. It has apps across iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, iMessage, and Mac, while the service has been built into Siri since iOS 8.

    Article Link: European Regulators Concerned Apple's Proposed Shazam Acquisition Could Hurt Competitors Like Spotify
     
  2. jayducharme macrumors 68040

    jayducharme

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    I don't understand how this is a problem. Shazam isn't a streaming service; it simply identifies songs. I guess Apple could engineer it so that it displayed songs only on Apple Music and tried to steer users to buy it if they don't already have Apple Music. But I'm sure in that case another app would come along to fill in the gaps.
     
  3. barkomatic macrumors 68040

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    So, Apple will have to promise to continue to allow Shazam to list other streaming services when it makes referrals. They'll probably agree to that. Now, if they could just force Apple to allow the Homepod to use other services.
     
  4. MacBebe macrumors regular

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    Exactly.

    It is up to the customers who they pick as their streaming service. This complain doesn't make sense.
     
  5. ideal.dreams macrumors 68020

    ideal.dreams

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    They should have zero control over that. Apple manufactures and sells its Homepod and has a right to limit its streaming services to Apple Music only.
     
  6. FelixDerKater Contributor

    FelixDerKater

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  7. Jakexb macrumors 6502a

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    Don’t understand how anyone is forcing Apple to do anything. If Spotify wants to make a Spotify speaker, are they going to be forced to support Apple Music?
     
  8. jbc25 macrumors newbie

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    It almost sounds as though they don't actually understand what Shazam is. Like they're assuming it's another music streaming service.
     
  9. rorschach macrumors 68020

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    The horror! A company trying to convince users of a competing product to switch to its own! We cannot allow that!
     
  10. mrzz macrumors regular

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    they can't, but you have an option to don't buy this expensive and intentionally limited mono speaker
     
  11. Baymowe335 Suspended

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  12. Kaibelf macrumors 68020

    Kaibelf

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    The EU sure seems to have a problem with companies trying not to waste their customers' time. I'm sure all of this has NOTHING to do with Spotify being an EU based company. :rolleyes:
     
  13. DNichter macrumors 603

    DNichter

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    I don't get it, but probably better off making sure before any sale goes through.
     
  14. big-ted macrumors regular

    big-ted

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    The EU rightly does this all the time, and it is about protecting their citizens from US companies
     
  15. itsmilo macrumors 68000

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    Makes sense to me. It’s just like how Facebook is not allowed to use it’s WhatsApp data for Facebook in the EU. It was one of the requirements to allow the acquisition of WhatsApp back in the day
     
  16. tech3475 macrumors 6502

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    The sales figures may do that for them.
     
  17. lunarworks macrumors 65816

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    It looks like the bigger concern is Apple knowing what users linked to other services are listening to.
     
  18. til1p macrumors newbie

    til1p

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    #18
    I agree. If we learned anything from Zuckerburg's testimony, its that people exist - in high-ranking positions - who have no idea of how the internet works, or any of this newfangled technology for that matter.
     
  19. DogHouseDub macrumors 6502

    DogHouseDub

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    yet they have no concerns regarding the fate of the content creators?
     
  20. MacknTosh macrumors regular

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    I doubt that's the case. When Shazam identifies a track, you have (at least in iOS) the option to open in Apple Music, Deezer or Spotify (and also, purchase in Apple Music). I believe the concern would be that two of the three options would disappear and the only option Shazam would give would be "open/purchase in Apple Music".
     
  21. 69Mustang, Apr 23, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2018

    69Mustang macrumors 603

    69Mustang

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    Shazam is hooked into the backend of different companies. This is less about streaming and more about the data that Shazam has... data that belongs to some of Apple's competitors.

    You're missing the point. This isn't about choosing a streaming service. This is about safeguarding against the possibility of Apple stifling competition by removing access to "backend" Shazam which is used by multiple services. It's also about Apple not being able to analyze competitors data that Shazam has accrued over the years. Further, if Shazam's hooks into other companies were allowed to remain, would Apple be allowed to continue to analyze that data?
     
  22. Cesar Battistini macrumors regular

    Cesar Battistini

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    #22
    It's NOT expensive for the tech it has.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 23, 2018 ---
    Yeah not gonna happen.
     
  23. macduke macrumors G3

    macduke

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    Not sure why they're even looking into this. They're not forcing Spotify users to switch to Apple Music. But they might have data on what Spotify users like to listen to—data users freely gave to Shazam by using the service and Apple would have access to. This is literally Google and Facebook's entire business model—they spy on users and use that information to target ads at them to get them to buy goods and services from companies that pay Google and Facebook and yet they allow them to operate as if nothing is wrong? And I'm sure that Google and Facebook's data troves are much more detailed and aren't anonymous. Not sure if Shazam is currently anonymously collecting data but you can be sure that based on the extensive lengths Apple goes to keep user information private that they will do the same when they take ownership.
     
  24. kemal macrumors 65816

    kemal

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  25. tomi03 macrumors regular

    tomi03

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    We can say the same about your biased opinion :rolleyes:
     

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