EU approves Apple’s acquisition of music recognition service Shazam

The EU has approved Apple’s acquisition of Shazam (via Reuters), the music recognition and discovery service. Apple announced it was buying the company in December, but had to wait on EU approval which launched an anticompetitive investigation to decide whether Apple’s purchase would lock out competition and unfairly elevate Apple Music.

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The acquisition was expected to complete, and now it’s official. The EU commission deemed that the purchase ‘would not harm competition in the bloc’.

For many years, Apple licensed usage of Shazam technology for use with Siri. You can ask Siri ‘what song is playing?’ and the iPhone, iPad or HomePod will listen to the environment and use Shazam to identify the track. Read more about how that works here.

Apple hasn’t said how it intends to use Shazam when the acquisition completes. There are obvious synergies with Apple Music to aid discovery of new songs and artists.

Even outside of the core music identification feature, Shazam offers music-related features that Apple Music would benefit from such as synced lyrics, that highlight the current line as the song progresses. Apple Music lyrics are much more rudimentary, a simple text view that must be scrolled manually.

Shazam was one of the first breakout hits in the early days of the App Store. Apple did not disclose how much it paid to acquire the company, but it is believed to be in the range of a few hundred million dollars in cash.

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