MARTIN BOUYGUES CAN NO LONGER CONSOLIDATE TELECOMS
PARIS (Reuters) – Martin Bouygues, CEO of the Bouygues group, said Thursday that the scenario of a reduction in the number of telecom operators in France was now impossible, after a series of unsuccessful attempts in recent years.
The French telecoms market has some of the lowest prices in Europe as a result of an endless war between the four main operators after the failure of several consolidation projects.
"I believe this is a movement that has become impossible," said Martin Bouygues during the conference presentation to analysts half year results of its group, which controls the operator Bouygues Telecom.
"It is a political choice that has been made, it must be assumed," added the leader. "It was done with 10 billion euros of losses, tens of thousands of job losses, considerable investment".
The CEO, whose subsidiary tried unsuccessfully to marry Orange, pointed out the difficulty of justifying a consolidation between four actors all profitable.
He also referred to the Italian example where the consolidation of the telecom market was translated, "in fine", by a return to four actors.
(Gwénaëlle Barzic and Mathieu Rosemain, edited by Jean-Michel Bélot)