PARIS, March 31 Further consolidation of the
French telecoms sector would not benefit consumers while a new
round of merger talks between France's four operators could
delay investments, the head of the country's telecoms regulator
"Consolidation in neither necessary nor something to wish
for," ARCEP head Sebastien Soriano told French daily Le Figaro.
Bouygues denied in March any talks with other
operators about consolidating the telecoms sector.
Last year it failed to merge its Bouygues Telecom arm,
France's third-biggest mobile operator, with market leader
Orange and has said it can prosper on its own.
French telecoms operators have made "hefty investment
efforts and are now in a position to operate in a market with
four operators," Soriano said in the newspaper interview.
"A new round of talks between operators would make the
sector lose another two years. This is the time to invest in
fibre. If talks were to resume, ARCEP would be very vigilant."
(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; editing by Alexander Smith)