EU investigates UK mobile payments plan

In-depth probe will delay plans for a mobile wallet venture

Europe's competition watchdog has opened an in-depth investigation into plans by three telecommunications companies to create a joint "mobile wallet" venture in the U.K.

Mobile operators Telefónica, Vodafone and Everything Everywhere want to allow customers to make payments via their phone using near-field communications technology. The system stores debit or credit card information on handsets and enables payment by swiping the phone near a reader at the checkout.

Following a preliminary investigation, the European Commission found that the joint venture between the three companies may have "the technical and commercial ability and incentive to block future competitors" from entering the mobile wallet services market in the U.K.

Concerns were initially raised by 3UK, which complained to the Commission that the project is "discriminatory" since the three companies involved represent more than 90 percent of U.K. mobile subscribers.

The newly created joint venture would provide various mobile commerce services to businesses, including mobile payment transaction services, mobile marketing services, and associated data analytics services. However a similar proposal from a group of six Dutch companies, known as Travik, was already delayed because of struggles with regulation.

The Commission has 90 working days, until August 27, to reach a decision, meaning that the group's plans for a summer launch will have to be put on hold. Meanwhile, telecom companies in other European countries including Germany, Denmark, Hungary and Sweden will be watching closely as digital wallet projects are in the pipeline despite growing competition from Google, which launched its service in the U.S. last September.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jennifer Baker

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?