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Austria, France, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Spain and Sweden asked European Commission to assess under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Shazam by Apple. In December, Apple confirmed that it purchased Shazam for a value around 400 million dollars. The European Commission has accepted the request of these 7 European members, as it “considers the transaction may threaten to adversely affect competition in the EEA.”
The request started in Austria, where the transaction meets the national merger notification threshold. Austria submitted then a referral request to the Commission pursuant to Article 22(1) of the EU Merger Regulation. Subsequently, Iceland, Italy, France, Norway, Spain, and Sweden joined the request. According to the European Commission, this provision allows a Member States to request that the Commission examine a merger that does not have an EU dimension but affects trade within the Single Market and threatens to significantly affect competition within the territory of the Member States making the request.
The Commission has also concluded that it is the best-placed authority to deal with the potential cross-border effects of the transaction and will now ask Apple to notify the transaction.
The case has the number M.8788 and can be followed on the Competition website of the European Commission.