France's competition regulator L'Autorité de la concurrence has rejected calls by Orange to suspend a planned network-sharing agreement between Bouygues Telecom and SFR, saying the deal did not pose an immediate or serious threat to consumers or the sector.
Bouygues Telecom is reportedly set to reduce the planned number of layoffs by 112 people to 1,404 in total after discussions with employee representatives convinced the company's management that some positions should be saved.
Bouygues Telecom is the latest European operator to sign a deal offering customers direct access to Netflix, as the U.S. video streaming company continues its expansion in the region.
Bouygues Telecom reported a 29 per cent drop in core earnings in the first half of 2014, as the French operator continued to suffer from ongoing pricing adjustments on France's mobile telecoms market.
Orange may not yet be fully out of the woods, but the company remains confident that the race to the bottom in terms of pricing is coming to an end and is maintaining its EBITDA target for 2014.
France-based Altice said it is buying a 34.6 per cent stake in Numericable Group from Carlyle Cable Investments and Cinven, confirming plans that were originally announced on April 7 when Vivendi agreed to sell its French unit SFR to Altice.
Orange CEO Stephane Richard said the operator is still prepared to take part in consolidating the French mobile market in order to reduce pricing competition, but called on the operator's rivals to take the lead because Orange does not want to take a driving role.
Orange and Bouygues Group signalled that further consolidation of the French telecoms market is receding into the distance, despite the best efforts of the French government to encourage domestic operators to merge.
Numericable has agreed to buy Omer Telecom, which operates under the Virgin Mobile brand in France, for €325 million ($443.8 million) after the successful conclusion of exclusive talks with existing shareholders Carphone Warehouse and the Virgin Group.
Orange has topped the French telecoms regulator's review of network quality in an annual evaluation of mobile operator services, while enfant terrible Free Mobile lagged behind in fourth place.