Everything Everywhere, O2 and Vodafone have formally submitted their mobile payments joint venture plan to the European Commission.
The operators had hoped the joint venture (JV), dubbed Project Oscar, would receive approval for a launch before this summer's Olympic Games, although recent reports suggested it would miss this deadline. The operators argued that the joint venture will benefit consumers and speed up the deployment of mobile wallet services, which would include the likes of coupons. Three has objected to the joint venture, arguing it is anti-competitive and could create a monopoly.
In a joint statement, the operators said: 'The JV will benefit businesses which are keen to participate in mobile commerce – such as retailers, banks and advertisers – by providing them with a platform to easily deliver their services to the UK mobile population. The JV will also promote competition by bringing together the necessary scale to offer a credible alternative to the established online payments and advertising platforms offered by large US-based internet players.'
The statement said the operators would make the service open to anyone interested in providing mobile commerce services, including other operators and MVNOs. It added that the initial reaction from retailers, banks and advertisers has been positive.