Everything Everywhere, O2 and Vodafone have welcomed the news that their mobile commerce joint venture has received unconditional clearance from the European Commission.
The EC’s preliminary investigation had indicated potential competition concerns; however, these were found to be wide of the mark.
“The Commission is keen on promoting innovation in this area and ensuring that the markets remain open so that a number of competing solutions can emerge without undue obstacles, to the benefit of consumers," said Joaquín Almunia, EC Vice President in charge of Competition policy.
The operators, who first announced the JV back in June last year, said they would get the JV “up and running as quickly as possible”.
Specifically, they said this would involve the creation of a new company and the hiring of relevant staff.
It is expected that the mobile marketing platform will be the first part of the business that is brought to market.
The operators said this will remove a number of the barriers that currently inhibit growth and create a single channel open to media agencies, retailers and brands to reach millions of UK consumers.
On m-payments, the JV intends to enable businesses to offer a wide variety of mobile wallet services, while consumers will be able to purchase goods and services using their handsets online or in shops using contactless technology.
The operators said they remain “committed to making the JV services open to all", including all operators and MVNOs, third party publishers, banks, advertising agencies, retailers and any company that wants to engage in this space.