3/8/2012 10:13:14 AM
Three attacks 'anti-competitive' mobile wallet joint venture
Three has reiterated its call for the mobile wallet joint venture to be 'robustly investigated', accusing it of being anti-competitive.
Everything Everywhere, O2 and Vodafone announced last night (7 March) that they had formally submitted their plans to the European Commission. They argued that the venture should be approved to benefit consumers and speed up the deployment of mobile wallet services.
However, Three's regulatory affairs director Stephen Lerner said: 'Fundamental questions about the scope, intent and competition implications of the JV’s plans to establish a ‘one stop shop’ for both mobile wallets and mobile marketing remain unanswered. We are concerned that the proposed joint venture will not benefit UK consumers and should be robustly investigated. The proposed joint venture should not be permitted in its current form.'
Lerner added the joint venture would have access to more than 90% of UK mobile subscribers and would 'foreclose the market to third-parties and neatly do away with the inconvenience of competing with each other'. He said: 'We will continue to work with the competition authorities in Europe and the Office of Fair Trading in the UK to ensure that consumers benefit from the development of a competitive market for these services.'
Editor: Graeme Neill