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Apple confirms acquiring Shazam for reported $400m

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Apple has confirmed acquiring Shazam, a London-based app that allows smartphone users to identify music, for a reported $400m.

Apple which revolutionised music with the introduction of the the iPod and iPhone, said Shazam was a natural fit for its Apple Music streaming service.

“We are thrilled that Shazam and its talented team will be joining Apple,” an Apple spokesperson said.

“Apple Music and Shazam are a natural fit, sharing a passion for music discovery and delivering great music experiences to our users. We have exciting plans in store, and we look forward to combining with Shazam upon approval of today’s agreement.”

Neither side would officially say how much Apple had paid, but a figure of about $400m has been reported, less than half the $1bn the app was last valued at when it tapped investors for cash in 2015.

An article published on the Verge says that Shazam can help Apple in a number of ways despite its low revenues. The most obvious would be with Apple Music, where Shazam’s team could help improve the experience of the service, it says. If Apple decides to shut down the app, it would also take away referrals to Spotify, which together with Apple Music gets 1 million clicks per day from Shazam. Also, Shazam’s music and sound recognition, which is already integrated with Siri, could gain a deeper integration with iOS, much like Google has done with its song recognition feature on the Pixel.

When the deal is closed, it will become Apple’s biggest acquisition since it bought rapper Dr Dre’s headphones company Beats Electronics for $3bn in 2014.

Shazam has been downloaded over 1bn times and although Shazam is popular with smartphone users it has struggled to make much money, with revenues of $54m in 2016.

The technology behind Shazam is called audio fingerprinting, and it provides the ability to link short, unlabeled pieces of audio content to corresponding meta data about that content. Audio fingerprinting enable users to identify the song title by providing a small piece of audio sample of the song instead of entering some keywords to look for.

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Qatar to withdraw from OPEC come January 2019

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The Gulf nation’s Energy Minister Saad Sherida al-Kaabi has confirmed that Qatar is set to withdraw from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC),



The decision to quit the bloc of 15 oil-producing countries that account for a significant percentage of the world’s oil production was confirmed by Qatar Petroleum, the state oil company, on Monday.

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Al-Kaabi stated their goal when speaking at a news conference in the capital Doha “The withdrawal decision reflects Qatar’s desire to focus its efforts on plans to develop and increase its natural gas production from 77 million tonnes per year to 110 million tonnes in the coming years.”

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Qatar is the first Gulf country to leave the bloc of oil-producing countries.

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Trump says China agree to mitigate tariffs on US cars after trade war ceasefire

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Chinese President Xi Jinping has agreed to cut tariffs below the 40 percent level currently in place on US-made vehicles after the two countries had talks in Argentina.



Trump confirmed the situation on his tweeter handle stating that: “China has agreed to mitigate and remove tariffs on cars coming into China from the U.S. Currently the tariff is 40%”.

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During the meeting in Buenos Aires, the US agreed not to increase tariffs on January 1, as had been planned, while China agreed to immediately buy more agricultural products from US farmers.

If no broader deal is reached within 90 days, the US said it would hike tariffs on $200bn of Chinese goods from 10 to 25 percent.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said last week that he was examining all available tools to raise US tariffs on Chinese vehicles to the 40 percent level that China was charging on US-made vehicles.

A source reports that the Chinese state media on Monday cautiously welcomed the trade war truce on Monday, without mentioning the US January 1 deadline.

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Asian stock markets opened higher on Monday in the wake of the truce, with Tokyo rising by one percent and Hong Kong and Shanghai rising by more than two percent.

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