London, UK: Telefonica, Vodafone and Everything Everywhere are now granted to go-ahead. The European Commission has approved the proposed creation of a UK mobile commerce joint venture between Vodafone, Telefónica and Everything Everywhere. It had been investigating the planned m-commerce partnership, nicknamed ‘Project Oscar’ – since April as there had been concerns about the potential size and power of the scheme.
Joaquín Almunia, European Commission Vice President in charge of Competition policy, said that ”Mobile commerce is a nascent sector that may radically change the consumer buying experience in the next few years.”
He said that ”The proposed joint venture is one of several initiatives to develop the sector in Europe.”
The EC’s report notes that a number of alternative ‘mobile wallet’ schemes already exist and, although some could be blocked by the network operators, those that don’t store data on SIM cards are unlikely to be influenced by the three network companies.
”The Commission is keen on promoting innovation in this area and ensuring that the markets remain open so that a number of competing solutions can emerge without undue obstacles, to the benefit of consumers,” he added.