France Telecom has slammed plans by its close partner Deutsche Telekom to merge with fellow European telecoms giant Telecom Italia.
The merger is still subject to intense political wrangling between the German and Italian governments, both of whom still have stakes in their respective former monopoly telcos.
Competition regulators are expected to sever the ties between the French and German operators before permitting the mega merger - which will create the world?s second largest telco.
France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom have developed close ties over the last year. The telcos own two per cent of each other, their chief executives serve on the other?s boards and they, along with US operator Sprint control the Global One services company.
The proposed merger, without any consultation with France Telecom, is a, ?clear violation of the undertakings between France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom,? the French operator said in a statement.
?France Telecom deplores this behaviour and will undertake whatever action is appropriate to protect its rights and the interests of its shareholders,? it added.
France Telecom said it the merger would not significantly affect the company?s international position, but said it would fight to protect both its and its shareholders? interests.
?France Telecom...will undertake whatever action is appropriate to protect its rights and the interests of its shareholders,? it said.
France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom have only just reiterated their commitment to Global One after speculation that it might collapse. Global One offers IP and ATM based networking for corporates and carriers in Europe and the US.
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