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Screenshot by Dan Ackerman/CNET

Spotify, the music streaming service based in Stockholm, Sweden, filed confidential IPO documents with the SEC in December, according to an initial report on Wednesday from Axios that was confirmed by Bloomberg

The wrinkle is that this may be a direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange, rather than a traditional public offering. That's a rarely used process that avoids some of the rules and costs associated with a standard IPO, but also offers less hype and potentially less buzz. This direction was hinted at as far back as spring 2017.

The company may be looking at going public in the first quarter of 2018, but was also just hit with a $1.6 billion lawsuit from a major music publisher. Spotify declined to comment on the SEC filing. 

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