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the Orange CEO Stéphane Richard, do not formalize the acquisition of Bouygues Telecom on Tuesday 16 February date of publication of the annual results of the operator. Yet this marriage potential and exceptional, amounting to 10 billion euros, is expected to overshadow the announcement of the figures of the former state monopoly. And because this new alliance has an ambition to do away with one of four players in the market. Besides Orange is not only in the case. He negotiates with SFR and Free (whose founder Xavier Niel is also a shareholder of the World Individual) butchering their competitor. All three are therefore preparing to share frequencies, customers, network and shops.
Four years after the arrival of Free Mobile, which the state had to increase competition, that the market fast return to its starting point. If operators, Orange head, are as much in this operation is to calm the price war raging on the market for four years, and continue to invest in the networks, particularly in the fiber, which happens gradually in homes.
the consumer he will win? Main fear, the return of a price increase. In 2011, before the arrival of Free, “the prices of mobile subscriptions were 25% higher than the European average” , said the UFC Que Choisir January 5. In addition, the transaction also would remove “the actor playing recently the agitator role of fixed internet market” . In fact, it’s Bouygues Telecom who practice the most interesting Internet subscriptions today.
What will it really? The boss of Orange, Stéphane Richard, tried to provide guarantees, considering that the price declines observed since the arrival of Free, in the order of 50% in four years, were “ earned . ” Thus, the troublemaker telecoms should continue to make life difficult for both mastodons, SFR and Orange.
Yet Difficult to make predictions. In Europe, there is still a step back on the consequences of a passage from four to three in terms of prices operators. One thing is certain, the loss of a player does not necessarily prompted competitors to increase their investment. Conversely, a market has not prevented four Orange, Free and SFR investing. Only Bouygues Telecom is struggling. If the operation ended, so it would be for the Competition Authority to resolve all of these issues and to ensure that consumer interest is respected.