3 UK awaits invitation to join mobile payments JV

Three UK is open to becoming a customer of the mobile payments joint venture launched by its rivals, on the condition that it would join on the same terms as the three founding operators.

Having previously accused Vodafone, Everything Everywhere and Telefónica's O2 UK that the m-payment venture, dubbed Project Oscar, was anti-competitive--and filing a legal complaint with the European Commission (EC)--3 UK said it now looks forward to being invited to joining the JV, according to Mobile Today.

The company said it was still studying the detail of the EC''s report that had given the JV the go-ahead. "We will continue to monitor developments closely and look forward to the invitation to become a customer of the joint venture on the same terms as all participating UK mobile operators," the operator said.

The founders of the JV have not responded to 3 UK's statement, perhaps pondering the operator's statement after Project Oscar became public in September 2011. "The three operators that hold 90 per cent of the UK market have engaged in a cosy collaboration and closed ranks against competition," 3 UK's legal counsel at the time, according to Mobile Payments Today.

However, in response to the EC's permission to proceed, a joint statement by the JV said the next move will be to get the business up and running as quickly as possible. This would involve hiring staff and creating a new company that will make m-commerce in the UK easier to conduct.

"The JV has the potential to transform the mobile marketing landscape in the UK," the companies told Mobile Payments Today. "It will remove a number of the barriers that currently inhibit growth and create a single channel with access to millions of UK consumers at launch."

For more:
- see this Mobile Today article
- see this Mobile Payments Today article
- see this BBC article

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