European Commission: Apple’s bid for Shazam could hit competition in Europe

The European Commission has said Apple's takeover of Shazam could have a significant impact on competition in Europe.

The EU's antitrust regulator will look into the iPhone maker's acquisition of the UK-based music discovery app following a request from seven countries.

Austria, France, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Spain and Sweden requested that the Commission assess the acquisition as the proposed bid did not meet the revenue threshold to trigger an EU review.

Apple confirmed plans to buy Shazam late last year in a deal estimated to be worth around $400m (£286m).

Based on preliminary information, the European Commission said the deal could have a "significant adverse effect" on competition in the European Economic Area.

Now, Apple will have to ask the Commission to approve the acquisition.

"Excessive" bonuses

Meanwhile, shareholder group Pirc has recommended investors in the US tech giant vote against the company's executive compensation policy at its annual general meeting (AGM) next week.

The maximum annual bonus an executive could receive, representing "exceptional financial performance" at Apple, was 400 per cent of base salary, which Pirc called "excessive".

Pirc added that the annual bonus did not factor in individual performance, which "raises concerns that some executives may be receiving substantial payouts for poor contributions to Apple's overall performance".

It also said the three-year period after which performance-based shares vest was too short.

Pirc recommended shareholders also vote against a measure to amend non-employee director stock plans, which it said gave the administrator too much discretion to determine the term of awards.

Read more: What Apple needs to do to become the world's first trillion-dollar company

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