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French government says will pursue telecom market consolidation

10
Apr
2014

By Gwénaëlle Barzic PARIS (Reuters) – The French government will continue to pursue consolidation in the countrys telecoms sector after Vivendis decision to sell its SFR unit to cable firm Numericable, Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg said on Wednesday. The government had openly supported a rival bid from Bouygues, arguing that the number of mobile operators needed to come down to three to end a destructive price war and encourage investment in high-speed broadband. Vivendi finally picked Numericable on Saturday, in a move that keeps the number of operators at four. The deal creates Frances second-biggest telecoms player behind Orange, but it weakens smaller operator Bouygues, which could now become a prey for Iliad, the operator that has slashed prices and hurt its rivals margins since the 2012 launch of its Free Mobile service.

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