Telefónica's landmark mobile payments venture gets EC clearance

The European Commission approved Telefónica's landmark plan to create a joint venture with Spanish banks CaixaBank and Santander and develop new digital businesses in mobile banking.

The Commission concluded that an adequate competitive environment is assured by the existence of several competing digital wallet providers, while further competition would also continue to be provided by well-established global players, such as Google and Yahoo.

It also found that there is limited overlap between Telefónica and the joint venture in the provision of digital advertising services, such as online and mobile-based couponing and loyalty services.

The venture will focus on digital advertising, peer-to-peer payments and digital wallets, which allow users to make secure online payments to merchants, according to a Commission statement.

Billed as the first joint venture between banks and telecoms operators in Europe to develop new digital services, the deal sets a new precedent in a field long dogged by difficulties ranging from the establishment of an effective ecosystem through to regulatory hurdles.

Telefónica also made it clear when it unveiled the plan in May that although the new company plans to start its activities in Spain, where it will target 600,000 businesses, it will quickly offer its services on the international stage. Here it will benefit from the huge global presence of its respective parent companies.

For more:
- see this European Commission release

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