Antitrust regulator warns against mergers

16 Jan 2013

Le Figaro has quoted Bruno Lasserre, the head of France’s antitrust regulator, as saying that the watchdog opposes mergers in the telecoms sector. In response to a question about whether the regulator would block a merger between Iliad’s low-cost cellco Free and Vivendi’s SFR, or between Free and Bouygues Telecom, Lasserre said: ‘I do not have to take sides on cases that are only hypotheses. But I warn against such mergers. A return to three operators is not advisable.’ He went on to confirm, however, that network sharing in order to cut costs and cover less profitable areas would be allowed.

France, Bouygues Telecom, Free Mobile (Iliad), SFR