PARIS, June 12 The government still wants to
reduce the number of mobile telecom operators in France to three
from four to bring an end to the "destructive spiral" of falling
prices, Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg said on Thursday.
His comments follow indications from third-placed Bouygues
Telecom on Wednesday that tie-up talks with two other players,
Orange and Iliad, had not succeeded.
The operator, a subsidiary of conglomerate Bouygues
, said it plans to cut 1,516 jobs or 17 percent of its
staff to reduce costs to ensure its survival in a market where
prices are down by nearly one-third.
"I am calling on all players to find other solutions than
job cuts," Montebourg told a telecoms conference organised by
Les Echos newspaper. "There are other solutions on the table and
we must make them work together."
(Reporting by Gwenaelle Barzic and Leila Abboud; Writing by