Vivendi’s refutation followed Orange CEO Stéphane Richard’s widely reported comments from an event in Morocco last week that Orange would consider buying Canal+ if Vivendi put it up for sale.
This was followed by French press reports that a deal could involve a wider cross-ownership deal between Orange and Vivendi that may also involve Italy’s Telecom Italia, in which Vivendi is the largest shareholder with a 24% stake.
A deal with Canal+ would potentially put Orange in a better place to see off any challenge from Altic-owned SFR, which is investing significantly in content and channels in France, most recently signing exclusive partnerships with Discovery and NBCUniversal.
Orange recently struck a deal with Canal+ to offer the latter’s channels as part of an integrated offering with its own broadband service.
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