Altice CEO Dexter Goei has further stirred up the telecoms market consolidation debate in France after he made it clear that the company would be more than interested in buying Bouygues Telecom.
Bouygues Telecom unveiled a new range of mobile plans that will see the company integrate its low-cost B&YOU plans into its overall offering, and reposition itself on the still highly competitive French market.
Xavier Niel, the founder of France's Iliad and Free, dashed French consolidation hopes by saying he was not interested in buying domestic rival Bouygues Telecom.
It's unclear what T-Mobile US and parent Deutsche Telekom think of Iliad's $15 billion bid for 56.6 percent of T-Mobile, though early indications are that DT likely thinks the price is too low. However, analysts said the benefits from an Iliad deal are difficult to discern at this point.
Iliad's surprise $15 billion bid to purchase a majority stake in T-Mobile US could put more pressure on Sprint and its parent SoftBank to strike a deal sooner than they had expected. Although SoftBank has more financial firepower than Iliad and its rumored bid is seen as stronger than Iliad's, SoftBank could face more regulatory challenges in merging Sprint with T-Mobile, according to financial and industry analysts.
"Who the heck is Iliad?" asked the U.S. version of PC Magazine, and indeed that question is probably still reverberating around a market that is wondering why the maverick billionaire owner of a French operator would want to spend billions of dollars on buying T-Mobile US.
Iliad, the French mobile and Internet company, confirmed it has made a $15 billion bid to purchase a majority stake in T-Mobile US.
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.
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.
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.