Mobile parking payment operator claims Hungary monopolizes market

In Hungary

EME, a company providing settlement services related to the payment of parking fees through mobile phones, has initiated an infringement procedure against Hungary with the European Commission, claiming that the state monopolized the service, Development Ministry Deputy State Secretary Károly Balázs Solymár told the press today.

Solymár argued that the state is only one of the players in the nationwide state-owned uniform mobile payment system to be launched on July 1. The service is provided to costumers by private companies, he added.

EME's clients has to find another mobile parking service provider from July 1 as EME had not joined the system by the deadline of June 10, Mihály Veres, CEO of the state-owned national mobile payment company Nemzeti Mobilfizetési said. EME is, however, free to join the system if it meets the respective conditions, Veres added.

Earlier information shows that Nemzeti Mobilfizetési will be the sole collector of fees from the system, with companies that offer mobile payment services operating as resellers.

Nemzeti Mobilfizetési has contracted six service providers:  Mpark, Evopay and Sense/Net, the company that built Nemzeti Mobilfizetési's payment system and Hungary's three mobile companies: Vodafone, Telenor and Magyar Telekom. A seventh company is to join soon, and they expect further ones by the autumn.

The uniform mobile payment system cost HUF 820 mln to build, Zoltán Attila Szabó, CEO of state-owned National Infocommunications, said. They expect the investment to pay for itself in one and half years.

Parliament passed the act on the state-owned national mobile payment system as a law requiring two-third majority late 2011. The launch of the system has been put off several times from the original date of October 2012.

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