French privately-owned retail group Auchan has reportedly confirmed that it is considering selling its mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) business to another operator, PC Inpact reports. According to the article, the decision to sell Auchan Telecom – which has 150,000 subscribers but has yet to generate a profit– was taken at a meeting of the Central Works Committee, with SFR reportedly considered as potential buyer.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, MVNOs suffered most from Free Mobile’s launch in January 2012: their total customer base grew by just 2.2% to 7.66 million in 2012, giving MVNOs a market share of 11.2%, compared with 11.3% the previous year. As result, in November 2012 Auchan Telecom suspended its fixed telephony and internet services as it planned to concentrate solely on cellular services. The company stated poor customer take-up and price pressures as the reasons behind its decision.