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French telecoms firms exploring tie-up options -minister
May 16, 2014 / 7:02 AM / in 3 years

French telecoms firms exploring tie-up options -minister

PARIS, May 16 (Reuters) - France’s economy minister, who has openly advocated tie-ups that would reduce the number of telecommunications services providers, said on Friday discussions were underway among telecoms firms on tie-up possibilities.

Arnaud Montebourg was speaking weeks after news Vivendi was selling its SFR telecoms arm to cable company Numericable despite his efforts to encourage a sale to Bouygues that would have reduced the number of players in the field.

“What I can tell you is that are many discussions taking place,” Montebourg, interviewed on RMC radio, said.

Asked if that included talks on a possible tie-up between Orange and Bouygues, he replied: “They exist. It’s (being talked about) in the press moreover.” (Reporting by Leigh Thomas, Natalie Huet an dGwenaelle Barzic; Writing by Brian Love)

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