updated 10:00 am EDT, Mon June 30, 2008
F Telecom Backs Off Telia
TeliaSonera today confirmed late-breaking rumors on Monday with the announcement that France Telecom has withdrawn its takeover bid for the company, putting an end to the potentially significant merger of the two companies. Sweden-based TeliaSonera maintains that France Telecom has not "significantly" improved its bid that was hinted at on Sunday and insists that the French firm would have undervalued TeliaSonera, which claims that it's strong enough without other companies' help.
France Telecom has declined comment other than to say it was unable to reach an agreement; the company is believed to have little room to negotiate a price without any rival bidders and with no urgent need to acquire the smaller company.
France Telecom runs the major European telecoms provider Orange and would have been one of the few non-native carriers to gain significant ground in Scandinavian countries by buying TeliaSonera, which commands a large portion of the market for cellular phone service and other businesses in its home territory.