A quartet of Europe’s largest operator groups fleshed-out plans to form a joint venture centred on advertising technology after the European Commission (EC) gave its green light for the project.

In a joint statement Vodafone Group, Orange, Telefonica and Deutsche Telekom explained they will each own a 25 per cent stake in a newly-formed company based in Belgium.

The resulting business is set to be run by an independent management team under the supervision of a board selected by its backers. It will focus on the implementation of what the partners are calling a “privacy-by-design digital marketing technology platform”.

Along with the players involved in the project, its technology is set to be available to peers and rivals across Europe. The four operators claim it will benefit consumers, advertisers and publishers alike.

The platform will be based on technology already trialled in Germany with further pilots being considered in France and Spain. It requires consumers to opt-in to brand communications with a facility to easily withdraw this consent.

Data is provided to advertisers through “pseudo-anonymous” digital tokens with the players claiming it would offer “a step change in the control, transparency and protection of their data, which is currently collected, distributed and stored at scale by major, non-European players”.