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)