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Three complains in Brussels over NFC exclusion

Three complains in Brussels over NFC exclusion

UK’s smallest operator, Three, complains in Brussels about a joint venture which was announced in June. Three speaks of a cartel. The alleged cartel is owned by Everything Everywhere, Telefonica UK and Vodafone, and is intended to create a standard platform for the delivery of NFC-based advertising. Three claims its exclusion is competitively motivated.


The joint venture hasn’t applied for regulatory approval yet, though it will have to soon, so Three’s representation to the European Commission preempts that application.The venture was announced in June, but despite being billed as a cross-operator initiative, Three’s CEO says he didn’t even hear of the deal until half an hour before it went public. The other operators say Three is welcome to sign up, just as Facebook or Skype is welcome to sign up, but only as a customer of the service, not an owner.

The single-platform plan is a good one: operators sensibly abandoning their dreams of raking a percentage of every electronic transaction, and instead ensuring that they get control over the electronic coupons and location-based advertising that NFC makes possible. Those opportunities are significant as the secure element inherent in the Near Field Communications standard makes distribution (and use) of loyalty points and promotional vouchers possible, and it’s not a business already dominated by creditcard companies. (theregister.co.uk)

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Joao Rostli

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