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Is Big Data a ‘friend’ or a ‘foe’ to consumers? Do the current EU merger control rules work for ‘Big Tech’ deals? The European Commission’s announcement that it has approved Apple’s $400 million acquisition of Shazam provides a timely snapshot of some of the key questions facing competition authorities analysing Big Tech deals in Europe. Apple’s proposed acquisition of Shazam, the UK-based music company, was originally notified to the Austrian competition authority. Though the deal did not meet the EU notification thresholds, it was ‘referred up’ to be reviewed by the Commission in February 2018 after it accepted a request from the Austrian authority.  Despite setting out preliminary competition concerns and opening an in-depth (Phase II) investigation into the deal, the Commission
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