The EC has decided that the digital services venture should go ahead, with concerns about inhibiting competition, eliminated.
Spanish telecom operator, Telefonica and Spanish banks, CaixaBank and Banco Santander will be launching various services to its members including data analytics, advertising, wallet functionality and peer-to-peer payment opportunities.
Although the EC investigated potential damage to healthy competition in the market, by introducing this powerfully-backed product, the decision is that, “there are sufficient credible alternative issuers of payments cards in Spain, therefore allowing competing digital wallet providers to continue offering peer-to-peer payments services either on a stand-alone basis or by partnering with financial institutions”.
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The conversation around competition was generated by Telefonica’s access to competing digital wallets on its network and by a peer-to-peer payment functionality – backed by a pre-paid virtual card issued by one of the two banks – but both have been deemed unthreatening and it seems that all is in order.
The EC also indicated that the wallet would have competition from existing parties such as Google and Yahoo and, that other fledgling wallets will surely emerge.
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