Despite buying out Shazam last December at a $400 million price tag, Apple still doesn’t assume ownership over the music recognition service. The final acquisition was delayed due to a pending four-month-long anti-trust investigation by the European Commission (EC) back in April.
The concern was that Apple, and by proxy Apple Music, might gain a significant competitive advantage over music streaming platforms once it gained ownership of the data collected by Shazam. The investigation committee was concerned that consumers would not have a choice for streaming after the merger.
Now the antitrust investigation, which was requested by seven European countries, will go through without any hick ups, a Reuters reports reveals. The EC determined that Shazam is not a gateway into streaming services or putting other tech companies at a competitive disadvantage. After all, Spotify acquired a lesser-recognized music recognition software company, Sonalytic, back in March of 2017 to little notice.
Apple initially sought out Shazam because it already integrates the vocal recognition service with Siri via a licensing deal. However, owning the service means Apple can use direct integration, such as automatic tagging, within their Music app. Not to mention, Shazam would provide the tech giant with a treasure trove of data.
Apple’s initial acquisition was a far cry from the $1 billion Shazam was valued at during its last funding round, but Shazam settled for $400 million because the company has had a hard time finding a viable business model over the past few years.
H/T: Digital Music News