European Union is Investigating Apple's Shazam Acquisition

Image Credit Shazam

"If these new services then become part of this established company's ecoystem there is a risk that it will lead to less choice for consumers", Agustin Reyna of BEUC said in an emailed statement.

The European Commission said an initial probe found Apple may encourage Shazam users to switch to its own music streaming service.

Apple confirmed plans to buy music tagging service Shazam back in December, but Apple's acquisition of the London-based firm still hasn't received European Union antitrust regulatory approval yet. Regulators are anxious that Apple will use the service to push consumers to its own streaming service, hurting competition and unfairly advantaging its own service.

According to the European Commission, however, it needs to assess the proposed deal before it goes through. Shazam also works with television shows and ads and could have a variety of other functions in Apple's broader line of services.

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Apple said in December it would buy the maker of the popular song-recognition app, which Apple's digital assistant Siri had been competing with.

In February, a handful of European countries called on the EU to carry out a regulatory investigation of the deal. "As a result, competing music streaming services could be put at a competitive disadvantage".

That's only the minor concern, however, with the Commission saying that it doesn't, currently, see Shazam "as a key entry point" for streaming services.

The biggest concern, however, appears to be the fact that the acquisition could give Apple access to data about its competitors' customers. The move also means Apple will need to wait longer to get an answer on whether it'll be cleared to acquire Shazam: the European Commission has until September 4 to make its decision. Neither company has confirmed how much the deal cost, but TechCrunch reported at the time that it was around $400 million.

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