EU talking tough on France Télécom loan debate

30 Jan 2003

Europe’s telecoms regulators are set to adopt a tough stance on the French government’s EUR9 billion loan to its under pressure PTO France Télécom (FT) , which they claim gives it an unfair advantage over market rivals. Concerns centre on whether the loan constitutes an illegal state guarantee that helped the beleaguered company secure bonds and loans worth EUR14 billion. If the Paris authorities fail to make a case, FT could be forced to repay hundreds of millions of euros.