Project Oscar Gets EU Go-Ahead

European Consumer Advertising

The mobile wallet application, one of the most anticipated projects in the world of UK marketing in 2012, is set to become reality very soon. The joint venture between the UK’s three biggest mobile operators O2, Vodafone and Everything Everywhere – also known as Project Oscar – was given the go-ahead by the European antitrust body this week, allowing both consumers and brands to benefit from the use of Near Field Communication (NFC) technology.

According to an official statement that I saw this morning, the European Commission (EC) has concluded that despite initial concerns on competition issues, the partnership has proved unlikely to harm competition in the segment and will not block other companies seeking to gain a presence on the mobile wallet market. Project Oscar is among the technologies that would mark the European m-commerce sector’s development and the EC will keep supporting innovations in the field, said Joaquin Almunia, commission vice president in charge of competition policy.

Commenting on the approval, the mobile operators stated that Project Oscar was a result of their efforts to facilitate consumers and businesses when using mobile marketing and wallet services. The technology is intended to provide a fully integrated mobile payment system in a broad range of shops. It will allow customers to make contactless or online payments via their phones at the point of purchase and will offer a number of m-commerce services to businesses. The platform will be available to consumers, mobile operators, banks, marketing agencies and retailers across handsets, operating systems and various mobile devices.