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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Orange drops out of French telecoms merger talks, (NYSE: ORAN)

Orange has ditched plans to take part in any tie-ups in the French telecoms market, the former monopoly said on Wednesday, causing share prices across the sector to drop on the prospect of the cut-throat competition continuing.A price war sparked by low-cost industry upstart Iliad's arrival in the mobile market in January 2012, has resulted in open talk of consolidation in recent months, with Bouygues Telecom the centre of attention after it lost a bidding war in April to purchase its bigger rival SFR to cable group Numericable.Orange acknowledged in May it was examining what role it could play in such deal-making, and sources said that it had held informal talks with Bouygues Telecom, the third-biggest player on the market.In a brief statement issued on Wednesday, the company said "Orange has examined the possibilities of participating in an operation that would lead to consolidation in the French telecoms market, and believes that it cannot pursue this avenue at the present time as the conditions that the Group has set have not been met."

Orange SA, formerly France Telecom SA, is a France-based company that is engaged, principally, in the provision of integrated telecommunications services. Shares of ORAN traded higher by 2.09% or $0.33/share to $16.13. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $9.10 and as high as $17.43. On average, 562506 shares of ORAN exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 470815.