PARIS, March 31 (Reuters) - Further consolidation of the French telecoms sector would not benefit consumers while a new round of merger talks between France’s four operators could delay investments, the head of the country’s telecoms regulator said.
“Consolidation in neither necessary nor something to wish for,” ARCEP head Sebastien Soriano told French daily Le Figaro.
Bouygues denied in March any talks with other operators about consolidating the telecoms sector.
Last year it failed to merge its Bouygues Telecom arm, France’s third-biggest mobile operator, with market leader Orange and has said it can prosper on its own.
French telecoms operators have made “hefty investment efforts and are now in a position to operate in a market with four operators,” Soriano said in the newspaper interview.
“A new round of talks between operators would make the sector lose another two years. This is the time to invest in fibre. If talks were to resume, ARCEP would be very vigilant.” (Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; editing by Alexander Smith)