European telecoms stands on the verge of a phase of cross-border consolidation, but there is a pressing need for a single European regulatory regime to enable this to happen, according to Orange CEO Stéphane Richard.
In an interview with financial daily Les Echos, Richard said that the European telecom industry was in the process of moving on from the first stage of ‘in-market’ consolidation towards pan-European mergers and acquisitions. However, he said, this would not be viable with 28 separate sets of competition regulations and regulators. Richard said that giant web companies operated on a global scale while telecom operators were still restricted to operating within national territories.
Richard said that Orange was well placed to act as an international consolidator but that the company had no need to participate in further consolidation in France.
Richard also said that Orange did not intend to take part in price-cutting competition in France, which he said was already one of the most competitive markets in Europe. He said the company would focus on the quality of its network and services.