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The European Commission has approved plans for a joint marketing venture between Everything Everywhere, Vodafone and O2 in the UK.

Aiming to compete more effectively with the likes of Google and Apple, the broadband providers - normally industry rivals - are combining to create a cross-network mobile marketing platform.

The service will offer secure mobile payment and loyalty card solutions, and enable brands to distribute deals and offers to their customers.

In a joint statement, the firms said the service will provide "a single contact point" for media agencies, retailers and brands.

This will enable them to create campaigns that will reach millions of opted-in mobile users, they explained.

"[The service] will apply across the majority of handsets, operating systems and mobile operators," the providers stated.

Everything Everywhere, Vodafone and O2 said they are committed to making the joint venture services open to all, including network operators, third-party publishers, banks, advertising agencies, retailers and "any company that wants to engage in this space".

As such, it is possible that other UK broadband providers may wish to take advantage of the single-platform marketing service.

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