Le Figaro has quoted Bruno Lasserre, the head of France’s antitrust regulator, as saying that the watchdog opposes mergers in the telecoms sector. In response to a question about whether the regulator would block a merger between Iliad’s low-cost cellco Free and Vivendi’s SFR, or between Free and Bouygues Telecom, Lasserre said: ‘I do not have to take sides on cases that are only hypotheses. But I warn against such mergers. A return to three operators is not advisable.’ He went on to confirm, however, that network sharing in order to cut costs and cover less profitable areas would be allowed.
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