Margrethe Vestager, here at Web Summit 2017, wants to to ensure music fans will continue to enjoy attractive music streaming choice
Photo: Web Summit
Apple’s Shazam deal under review, 5 Luxembourg films at Annecy, assaulted Irish student, Apple agrees Irish tax repayment and Bettel gets wrong Helminger. Delano’s breakfast briefing for 25 April.
Commission presses pause on Apple’s Shazam acquisition
The buy-out of music recognition applications provider Shazam by Apple is under investigation by the European Commission. In a Commission statement, competitions chief Margrethe Vestager says the investigation “aims to ensure that music fans will continue to enjoy attractive music streaming offers and won't face less choice as a result of this proposed merger.” The Commission is concerned that Apple would obtain access to data about customers of its music streaming services competitors. The move to investigate follows requests to review the acquisition from seven member states including Sweden, which is where Spotify is based, and France, which is home to Deezer’s headquarters. Reports suggest that Apple is trying to make its streaming service, more competitive with Spotify, which has 71 million paying customers compared to Apple Music’s 40 million.
Lux films in Annecy selection
Out of the 10 films selected for the official competition at the Annecy International Animation Festival, two are Luxembourg co-productions. The festival, which runs from 11 to 16 June, unveiled its programme on Tuesday. Bac Cinema’s “Funan” by Denis Do and Melusine Productions’ “The Breadwinner” by Nora Twomey are in the running for the main prize. But other Luxembourg co-productions are also being screened, including Alexandre Espigares’s “White Fang” from Bidibul Productions, Juan Antin’s “Pachamama” (Doghouse Films) and Peter Ramsey’s work in progress “The Kaball Swallows”, which is also a Melusine Productions film.
Irish student in intensive care
The Irish Independent is among a number of media sources in Ireland reporting that a 21-year-old Limerick Erasmus student is in intensive care in Luxembourg following an alleged assault in the capital on April 13. Famous folk singer Christy Moore paid tribute to the student at a concert in Limerick last weekend, by playing his song ‘Beeswing’ in his honour, the paper reports. The student had planned to attend the concert.
Apple and Ireland agree payment plan
Apple and the Irish government have agreed that the tech giant will start paying €13bn in back taxes, the Financial Times reports. The move follows a court case last October which forced the recovery of the money after the Commission had initially ruled on the case in August 2016. Irish finance minister Paschal Donohoe has said the repayments, into an escrow account pending an appeal on the case, will begin in May and will be completed by September.
The wrong Helminger
Xavier Bettel made an embarrassing slip in a tweet congratulating the winner of this year’s Prix Servais for Luxembourg literature. Instead of congratulating Nico Helminger for his book “Kuerz Chronik vum Menn Malkowitsch sengen Deeg an der Loge”, the prime minister offered his felicitations to the author’s younger brother Guy--who is also a writer, and who won the prize in 2002. Guy tweeted that he would “tell my brother that I wrote his book”, but also had a little dig at Bettel, who is minister for culture, saying that the mistake was “Nationbranding at its best”.