EU regulators to examine Apple buy of UK music discovery app Shazam

Illustration photo of the Shazam application on a mobile phone December 12, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas White/Illustration

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - EU antitrust regulators will examine iPhone maker Apple’s acquisition of British music discovery app Shazam following a request from seven European countries.

Apple has said that Shazam, an app that lets users identify songs by pointing a smart phone at the audio source, would be a natural fit with its Apple Music streaming service.

Apple had sought approval for the deal from the Austrian competition agency because the bid falls short of the revenue threshold for an EU review.

Austria subsequently asked the European Commission to take over the case. France, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Spain and Sweden also put in a similar request.

The EU antitrust enforcer said that based on preliminary data provided by the seven countries, the deal may have a significant adverse effect on competition in Europe.

Apple will now have to formally ask the Commission to approve the deal. The EU regulator can either clear the bid with or without conditions or open a full-scale investigation if it has serious concerns.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Alissa de Carbonnel