Bouygues seeks EUR2.3bn in damages from the state

10 Dec 2015

French telecoms provider Bouygues is reportedly seeking compensation of EUR2.29 billion (USD2.5 billion) from the state for lost revenues caused by the entry of Free Mobile in the market and the 2G/3G roaming agreement the new entrant signed with market leader Orange in 2011, according to Les Echos. In a letter reportedly sent to France’s Prime Minister Manuel Valls, the operator claimed that the Regulatory Authority for Electronic Communications and Posts (Autorite de Regulation des Communications Electroniques et des Postes, Arcep) failed to establish the conditions for the implementation and the subsequent conclusion of the roaming agreement, which is scheduled to be effective until 2016 (for 2G services) and 2018 (3G). While the regulator justified its decision to refrain from investigating the agreement by stating that the roaming deal was a private matter, Bouygues’ claim was backed by the country’s administrative court Conseil d’Etat, which ruled in October 2015 that Arcep was incorrect in its decision not to examine the roaming deal.