Last week the European Comission approved the creation of a joint venture by Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefónica, and Vodafone, to replace cookies and to solve the identity problem on the web and apps.
Subject to the user’s consent, the joint venture will generate a unique digital code derived from the user’s mobile or fixed network subscription. Such code will enable brands and publishers to recognize users on their websites or applications on a pseudonymous basis, group them under different categories and tailor their content to specific users’ groups.
According to the European Commission, the joint venture will offer a platform to support brands and publishers’ digital marketing and advertising activities in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK.
The European Commission has approved unconditionally, under the EU Merger Regulation, the creation of a joint venture concluding the transaction would raise no competition concerns. The Commission states companies’ rivals would be able to supply inputs to the joint venture and/or rival suppliers of digital identification services, and the joint venture will not have the ability or incentive to exclude other advertisers and rival providers of mobile telecommunications services by restricting their access to digital identification services.
Deutsche Telekom, headquartered in Germany, is a multinational telecommunications operator with activities in more than 50 countries worldwide, including Germany. It provides mobile and/or fixed telecommunications services as well as internet access, television and technology products.
Orange, headquartered in France, is a multinational telecommunications operator with activities in 27 countries worldwide, including France and Spain. It provides a wide range of electronic communications services mainly in the area of fixed and mobile telecommunications and internet access as well as telecommunications services to multinational companies.
Telefónica, headquartered in Spain, is a multinational telecommunications operator and mobile network provider with activities mainly in Europe, including Germany and Spain, the UK and South America providing mobile, fixed, internet and television services.
Vodafone, headquartered in the UK, is a multinational telecommunications operator with activities in 21 countries predominantly in Europe, including Germany, Italy and Spain, and Africa. It provides mobile telecommunication services, fixed telephony services and retail television and technology services.