UPDATE 1-EC clears Telefonica mobile payments venture in Spain

Wed Aug 14, 2013 1:02pm EDT

BRUSSELS Aug 14 (Reuters) - The European Commission has cleared the creation of a mobile commerce joint venture between the Spanish telecommunications operator Telefonica and two Spanish banks, it said in a statement on Wednesday.

The banks are CaixaBank, controlled by La Caixa-Caja de Ahorros, and Banco Santander.

The venture will focus on digital advertising, peer-to-peer payments and digital wallets, which allow users to make secure online payments to merchants, according to a Commission statement.

The Commission, the executive branch of the European Union, said it had assessed the potential impact of the venture in the nascent sector in Spain and found there was already enough competition in the field of digital wallets.

In addition, in the area of digital advertising, the Commission found sufficient competition from players such as Google for it to approve the venture, despite some overlap between Telefonica and its partners.

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