PARIS May 28 The chief executive of French
telecom group Orange said on Thursday that there was
urgent need to consolidate the local mobile market and that
movement could come in the coming weeks.
"It is urgent after the deal that was signed between SFR and
Numericable," said Stephane Richard in an interview with French
radio BFM on Wednesday.
"If something is to happen, it will happen in the coming
weeks," he predicted.
Orange recently acknowledged that it was examining what role
it could play in such deal-making, and sources earlier told
Reuters that it has held informal talks with third-place mobile
operator Bouygues Telecom.
France's economy minister also confirmed last week that
Orange and Bouygues were in talks. Orange later said in a
statement that it believed consolidation "would be positive in
the long term for both investment and for the consumer."
(Reporting by Leila Abboud; Editing by Andrew Callus)