EU may finally allow Apple to buy Shazam

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Shazam iPhone
The wait for Apple to acquire a popular music-identification app is almost over.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Apple has been trying to buy Shazam since last December, but the deal has been held up for months by regulators in the EU. That’s reportedly just about to change.

It’s likely Apple wants this music-identification app as part of its ongoing battle with Spotify.

For those who are unfamiliar with it, Shazam can hear a short snippet of a song and identify what’s playing. It can do the same trick with some movies and TV shows, but music is what it’s best known for.

And after a tune has been identified, the service gives the user the option to listen to it on a streaming service. With Apple in the process of acquiring Shazam, Apple Music is figured prominently in its app, with rival Spotify taking a distinctly secondary role.

EU watches out for Spotify

But the purchase has been on hold since April when the European Commission expressed reservations. The concern was whether Apple’s ownership of this music-identification service would hurt its rivals. Especially its chief rival in this market, Spotify.

The EU takes a tender interest in Spotify, as it’s based in Sweden. And the EC is likely to be extra careful, as Shazam’s home country is the UK.

Even so, after months of investigation, the European Commission is going to approve Apple’s purchase of Shazam, according to Reuters.

Apparently, the EU doesn’t think this will have a significant effect on the competition between the two top streaming music services. As it stands now, Spotify has about 83 million subscribers, roughly twice as many as Apple Music. That said, Apple Music now boasts more paying subscribers than Spotify in the US.