CaixaBank and Santander aren't Telefónica's first partners in the mobile commerce space, but the fact they are actually forming a joint venture makes this the operator's biggest bet on mobile money yet. Provided the venture passes muster with Spain's competition authorities, the combination of banks and a telco working together -- rather than against each other as is often the case -- could be a powerful force in driving mobile commerce into the mainstream. Telefónica says the venture is also open to other partners, although it didn't specify whether it would like them to come from the telecom world, financial sector or elsewhere. For more
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