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Apple's Shazam acquisition faces scrutiny from European Commission

Seven European countries asked the EC to assess the deal.
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Bloomberg via Getty Images

While Discovery Communications and Scripps Networks got good news from the European Commission today, Apple and Shazam weren't so lucky. In December, Apple confirmed that it purchased Shazam for an undisclosed amount believed to be in the range of $400 million. But today the European Commission said that upon request by a number of European nations, it would be assessing the deal. The proposed acquisition wasn't large enough to require evaluation by the EC directly, but Austrian laws required the companies to seek regulatory clearance there. A European Union provision allows EU countries to ask the EC to look at proposed mergers, and Austria did just that. Iceland, Italy, France, Norway, Spain and Sweden then signed onto that request.

In a statement, the EC said, "The European Commission has accepted a request from Austria, France, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Spain and Sweden to assess under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Shazam by Apple. The Commission considers the transaction may threaten to adversely affect competition in the European Economic Area."

Apple will now have to get approval from the EC, which can decide to clear the deal outright, approve with conditions or move forward with a full investigation into the proposed acquisition.

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