The CEO of French media and communications group Vivendi is considering sweeping cuts in the operating expenses of its wireless operator subsidiary SFR. A report from Bloomberg, which cites Vivendi insiders, claims that Jean-Bernard Levy is looking at a EUR350 million (USD437 million) reduction in SFR’s operating expenses in 2013, on top of an already announced EUR450 million cut which has been budgeted for this year. The proposals are due to be put before union representatives next week. Vivendi is looking to cut costs at SFR in the face of increasing competition in the French telecoms market following the launch earlier this year of low-cost cellular operator Free Mobile.
Earlier this week Vivendi was ordered to pay USD955 million in damages to US cable operator Liberty Media for an alleged breach of contract following Vivendi’s acquisition of Liberty’s stake in broadcaster USA Networks. The French company has said it will appeal the ruling.