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The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation into the proposed creation of a joint venture in the U.K. between Vodafone Group PLC (VOD.LN), Telefónica SA (TEF) and Everything Everywhere in the field of mobile commerce.
The commission's preliminary investigation indicated potential competition concerns in the nascent markets of mobile payment applications supply [so-called "mobile wallets"], mobile advertising and related data analytics services, where the joint venture may have very high market shares.
The opening of an in-depth inquiry doesn't prejudge the final result of the investigation. The Commission now has 90 working days, until 27 August 2012, to take a final decision on whether the proposed transaction would affect competition in the European Union.
Everything Everywhere is a joint venture between France Telecom (FTE) and Deutsche Telekom AG (DTE.XE).
-By Frances Robinson and Vanessa Mock, Dow Jones Newswires; +32 2 741 1486; [email protected]