Once again European unions making lots of noise ... But did you know that France is actually one of the least unionized countries in the world ? Less than 8% ... But sure number one on the union noise meter ... (via GSMA)
France Telecom has denied speculation that it is planning to forge closer ties with German rival Deutsche Telekom following the move by Deutsche Bank to raise its stake in the French group. "There is no plan to bring together France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom," a France Telecom spokesperson told Reuters. The comments followed warnings from French unions that yesterday's decision by the German bank to raise its shareholding in France Telecom beyond the 5 percent threshold could lead to a "profound change” in the group’s ownership structure. The French CFE-CGC/UNSA union said the development was potentially “a precursor to consolidation operations that are liable to change the world of telecoms in Europe.” The union also called for an extraordinary meeting with France Telecom to find out the “the steps the company's management intends to take to protect France Telecom's independence."
The France Telecom spokesperson today played down the prospect of a merger between the two European telecom giants, noting that the two firms would only discuss specific areas of collaboration on a case-by-case basis. This appears to be a reference to the situation in the UK, where France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom recently merged their respective mobile units – Orange UK and T-Mobile UK – to create the country’s largest mobile operator as part of a new joint venture called Everything Everywhere.