Chief executive Stephane Richard told the Financial Times that a number of smaller former state monopoly “incumbents” — including KPN , Telecom Italia and Belgacom were vulnerable if Europe were able to create a single digital market.
“I don’t know when or what, but I am in favour of an ambitious Orange in Europe,” he told the newspaper. “We are looking, we are paying attention to everything going on.”
Richard said that the French government should rein in its involvement in consolidation of the industry as decisions over mergers and acquisitions would be “essentially a topic for the French antitrust authority”.
“The government has really no tools in its hands to prevent this,” he said.
President Francois Hollande’s Socialist government has expressed concern over the prospect of Bouygues Telecom being taken over by Altice, the majority-owner of France’s second-biggest telecoms group Numericable-SFR saying it could be bad for jobs, consumers and investment.