August 29, 2019 / 10:37 AM / 18 days ago

Bouygues CEO: consolidation of France's telecoms market is 'impossible'

FILE PHOTO: The Bouygues Telecom company logo is seen at a shop in Bordeaux, France, March 22, 2019. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

PARIS (Reuters) - A merger between two of France’s four telecoms operators is now impossible, said the chief executive officer of Bouygues Telecom’s (BOUY.PA) parent company.

“I think it’s a movement that has become impossible,” Martin Bouygues told analysts on Thursday, after the publication of the conglomerate’s first-half results.

“It’s a political choice that we have to accept,” he added.

The French telecoms sector has been awash with regular merger speculation ever since a round of talks between Orange (ORAN.PA), Altice Europe’s SFR (ATCA.AS) and Iliad (ILD.PA) failed three years ago, ending an attempt to ease a price war that has hit the margins of all four companies.

Reporting by Gwenaelle Barzic; Writing by Mathieu Rosemain; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta

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