Mergers: Commission clears the creation of a mobile commerce joint venture by UK mobile operators Telefónica, Vodafone and Everything Everywhere

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The European Commission has unconditionally approved, on the basis of the EU Merger Regulation, the proposed creation of a joint venture between Vodafone, Telefónica and Everything Everywhere in the field of mobile commerce in the UK.

Mobile commerce is a nascent sector that may radically change the consumer buying experience in the next few years. The proposed joint venture is one of several initiatives to develop the sector in Europe. 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.” said Joaquín Almunia, Commission Vice President in charge of Competition policy.

The Commission’s preliminary investigation had indicated potential competition concerns in the nascent markets of mobile payment applications supply (so-called “mobile wallets”), mobile advertising and related data analytics services. On this basis, the Commission opened an in-depth inquiry on 13 April 2012.

As a result of its in-depth investigation, the Commission concluded that the joint venture will not likely lead to a significant impediment to effective competition in the EEA within the meaning of the Merger Regulation.

The transaction was notified to the Commission on 06/03/2012. Here to read more.

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