EU sets Apr. 23 deadline for approving or rejecting Apple's Shazam takeover

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV
The European Commission has announced an Apr. 23 provisional deadline for a decision on Apple's intended acquisition of Shazam, perhaps the world's most popular song recognition service.




The official timeline follows requests for a review by several European countries, including Austria, France, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Spain and Sweden. The governments have expressed concerns about the potential negative impact on competition.

Shazam's iOS app often links to Apple Music and iTunes, and is already integrated into Siri. At the moment though the app is also available for Android, and links to non-Apple services such as Spotify, Deezer, and/or Google Play, depending on the song.

Apple will presumably want to keep Shazam on Android -- since Apple Music is available there as well -- but it could be tempted to remove links to third-party streaming services. That might have a damaging effect given Shazam's popularity.

Apple Music is still playing catch-up with the leader in on-demand music, Spotify. While Apple has 38 million paid customers, Spotify has over 71 million, plus many more listening to its free ad-based tier. The latter is testing a voice assistant, and could be working on its own smartspeaker.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    With all that the EU has to worry about these days, they have time to consider a song recognition app being of such importance? If this is not political and related to whining by Spotify, I am not sure why this iwould even be an issue.
    bshankjbdragonjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 11
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,525member
    With all that the EU has to worry about these days, they have time to consider a song recognition app being of such importance? If this is not political and related to whining by Spotify, I am not sure why this iwould even be an issue.
    All part of the tit-for-tat political gamesmanship that happens with politicians.
    jbdragonjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 11
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,460member
    With all that the EU has to worry about these days, they have time to consider a song recognition app being of such importance? If this is not political and related to whining by Spotify, I am not sure why this iwould even be an issue.
    What other pressing issues do the EU have to worry about in terms of anti-competitive industry practices?  Or are you suggesting that the staff they employ to investigate and regulate industry could be simply transferred to whatever area your particular gripe is with (immigration right?  It's always immigration).
    edited March 15
  • Reply 4 of 11
    I cannot wait for Italy to leave the EU.
    bshankSpamSandwichJanNLjbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 11
    With all that the EU has to worry about these days, they have time to consider a song recognition app being of such importance? If this is not political and related to whining by Spotify, I am not sure why this iwould even be an issue.
    Spotify (although far from profitable) is a European company -- one of the ONLY European internet based with a global brand.  Don't kid yourself in one doesn't think that a good portion of the EU's quick to investigate U.S. tech companies (Microsoft, Google, Apple, Qualcomm, etc.) is because virtually NONE of the top software, phone/computer manufacturers, chip companies, and internet companies are based in Europe.  By just announcing they are going to investigate things they remind U.S. companies and our politicians that they can and have seriously screwed with U.S. tech companies which is one of the only major global enterprises the U.S. leads.

    Even though I am largely a free market guy, I applaud the EU's continuous nagging of the CA based tech companies, as I think it's horrible with some of things they can do in regards to data collection/retention.  I am referring more to Facebook, Google, and Twitter than Apple in this regard.  Apple gets investigated merely for being yet another reminder to the EU that they are merely a CONSUMER of technology versus a producer.

    Apple would be foolish to sever the ties of Shazam to Spotify.  There are a couple of inferior competing song recognition apps out there and severing ties to Spotify would more than likely just mean another app would step in and take their place. They may has well keep making money off Spotify.

    I can't see Spotify succeeding as a stand alone company in the long run -- my prediction is they will get swallowed up by a someone like Netflix, Sirius, or perhaps Facebook.  I think Google Music and Apple Music have a better long term model in that they use music as sort of a loss leader in an integrated ecosystem.  Disclaimer I am a premium subscriber to Spotify.  I have used Google Music and Amazon Music some (I prefer Spotify), but have yet to try Apple Music.  At some point, I will probably give Apple music a try.

    The record industry doesn't know what to about Spotify.  They reluctantly keep them around because they are worried that if they do away their free advertising tier will lead to an increase of piracy. 

    Get your popcorn out!  It's a good show...


  • Reply 6 of 11
    bshankbshank Posts: 132member
    EU companies can’t compete on a global level. They are falling further and further behind and only the government can come in to create ridiculous new laws and taxes to give their flailing companies some ground to stand on. It’s actually really lame.
    jbdragon
  • Reply 7 of 11
    crowley said:
    With all that the EU has to worry about these days, they have time to consider a song recognition app being of such importance? If this is not political and related to whining by Spotify, I am not sure why this iwould even be an issue.
    What other pressing issues do the EU have to worry about in terms of anti-competitive industry practices?  Or are you suggesting that the staff they employ to investigate and regulate industry could be simply transferred to whatever area your particular gripe is with (immigration right?  It's always immigration).
    "..anti-competitive industry practices.." LOL. Seems like you have your mind made up on this one, although it baffles me to think how the EU thinks Apple might fit in this. And to threaten a piddly 2M dollar fine is hardly a reflection of any serious breach. Spotify is having their IPO April 3, well ahead of the ruling by the EU on April 23rd. Follow the money..
    watto_cobrabshank
  • Reply 8 of 11
    BubbaTwo said:
    With all that the EU has to worry about these days, they have time to consider a song recognition app being of such importance? If this is not political and related to whining by Spotify, I am not sure why this iwould even be an issue.
    Spotify (although far from profitable) is a European company -- one of the ONLY European internet based with a global brand.  Don't kid yourself in one doesn't think that a good portion of the EU's quick to investigate U.S. tech companies (Microsoft, Google, Apple, Qualcomm, etc.) is because virtually NONE of the top software, phone/computer manufacturers, chip companies, and internet companies are based in Europe.  By just announcing they are going to investigate things they remind U.S. companies and our politicians that they can and have seriously screwed with U.S. tech companies which is one of the only major global enterprises the U.S. leads.

    Even though I am largely a free market guy, I applaud the EU's continuous nagging of the CA based tech companies, as I think it's horrible with some of things they can do in regards to data collection/retention.  I am referring more to Facebook, Google, and Twitter than Apple in this regard.  Apple gets investigated merely for being yet another reminder to the EU that they are merely a CONSUMER of technology versus a producer.

    Apple would be foolish to sever the ties of Shazam to Spotify.  There are a couple of inferior competing song recognition apps out there and severing ties to Spotify would more than likely just mean another app would step in and take their place. They may has well keep making money off Spotify.

    I can't see Spotify succeeding as a stand alone company in the long run -- my prediction is they will get swallowed up by a someone like Netflix, Sirius, or perhaps Facebook.  I think Google Music and Apple Music have a better long term model in that they use music as sort of a loss leader in an integrated ecosystem.  Disclaimer I am a premium subscriber to Spotify.  I have used Google Music and Amazon Music some (I prefer Spotify), but have yet to try Apple Music.  At some point, I will probably give Apple music a try.

    The record industry doesn't know what to about Spotify.  They reluctantly keep them around because they are worried that if they do away their free advertising tier will lead to an increase of piracy. 

    Get your popcorn out!  It's a good show...
    If this is just a 'show' by the EU, then it makes this even more of a disgraceful sham. You applaud EU 'nagging' of US companies? Where is that even lawful? The only thing I will agree with you on is that Spotify provides a really great service and that I would never want it to be consumed by bigger fish, even Apple. Let them continue to innovate and be competitive. But to pursue this 'legal challenge' course against every American company with global success reflects poorly on the EU, and IMO decreases chances to launch the EU's own technology global powerhouses.
  • Reply 9 of 11
    JanNLJanNL Posts: 233member
    I cannot wait for Italy to leave the EU.
    I cannot wait for Netherlands to leave the EU.
    bshankwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 11
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 2,468member
    Why not scupper the deal due to EU wide national security concerns ;-)

    No one can doubt how important Europeans take their music, what with Eurovision Song Contest and all?
  • Reply 11 of 11
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 1,781member
    BubbaTwo said:
    With all that the EU has to worry about these days, they have time to consider a song recognition app being of such importance? If this is not political and related to whining by Spotify, I am not sure why this iwould even be an issue.
    Spotify (although far from profitable) is a European company -- one of the ONLY European internet based with a global brand.  Don't kid yourself in one doesn't think that a good portion of the EU's quick to investigate U.S. tech companies (Microsoft, Google, Apple, Qualcomm, etc.) is because virtually NONE of the top software, phone/computer manufacturers, chip companies, and internet companies are based in Europe.  By just announcing they are going to investigate things they remind U.S. companies and our politicians that they can and have seriously screwed with U.S. tech companies which is one of the only major global enterprises the U.S. leads.

    Even though I am largely a free market guy, I applaud the EU's continuous nagging of the CA based tech companies, as I think it's horrible with some of things they can do in regards to data collection/retention.  I am referring more to Facebook, Google, and Twitter than Apple in this regard.  Apple gets investigated merely for being yet another reminder to the EU that they are merely a CONSUMER of technology versus a producer.

    Apple would be foolish to sever the ties of Shazam to Spotify.  There are a couple of inferior competing song recognition apps out there and severing ties to Spotify would more than likely just mean another app would step in and take their place. They may has well keep making money off Spotify.

    I can't see Spotify succeeding as a stand alone company in the long run -- my prediction is they will get swallowed up by a someone like Netflix, Sirius, or perhaps Facebook.  I think Google Music and Apple Music have a better long term model in that they use music as sort of a loss leader in an integrated ecosystem.  Disclaimer I am a premium subscriber to Spotify.  I have used Google Music and Amazon Music some (I prefer Spotify), but have yet to try Apple Music.  At some point, I will probably give Apple music a try.

    The record industry doesn't know what to about Spotify.  They reluctantly keep them around because they are worried that if they do away their free advertising tier will lead to an increase of piracy. 

    Get your popcorn out!  It's a good show...
    If this is just a 'show' by the EU, then it makes this even more of a disgraceful sham. You applaud EU 'nagging' of US companies? Where is that even lawful? The only thing I will agree with you on is that Spotify provides a really great service and that I would never want it to be consumed by bigger fish, even Apple. Let them continue to innovate and be competitive. But to pursue this 'legal challenge' course against every American company with global success reflects poorly on the EU, and IMO decreases chances to launch the EU's own technology global powerhouses.


    Spotify may offer great service and I'll all for them sticking around. The problem is they've never turned a profit. The more people that sign up, the more money they lose. They are heavily in debt at this point with some high interest rates just to get more money. I don't think there's anyone left willing to give them anymore money so now they're going Public so they can get their hands on more. Maybe this will keep them around for 5 more years?!?!

    As for Shazam, I've never really used it on my iPhone. The few times I've wanted to know what a song was, I've used SoundHound. So Shazam is not the only option out there. I haven't had a reason to ask Siri what a song is, which would then use Shazam.
    edited March 15
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