Worth bearing in mind that France telecom ( oranges parent ) has a debt of over 100 billion dollars ..and a hole in it's french staff pension fund that makes the GDP of Brazil look like chicken feed ..but which will be filled by taking money from the private sector pension funds ..or levying an indirect tax on all of the EU's citizens ..( credit lyonnais ring any bells? ;-) ..or some such "creative accounting" measure that would get the rest of us in jail ..
Orange ( originally British ) but bought by France telecom ( longtime french monopoly provider ..who had to be forced by the EU to release it's hold on french phone lines ..and even then took 6 years of trading with an illegal monopoly before it decided to abide by EU law ..it preferred to pay a daily fine of $50.000.oo ..actually the french tax payer was doing the paying!) ..France Telecom bought Orange with borrowed money whilst it was technically bankrupt ( still is ) ..the day it crashes ..will make Enron look like pocket change ..
Orange is the only part of the group with positive cash flow ..
And the other lossmaking arm of France telecom ( wanadoo was found to be rigging it's serps in the UK ..and taken to court and fined ..still does rig it's serps in France ..here it's legal ..) ..
The groups ex boss was made french finance minister ..so no legal enquiries are likely to happen soon into France telecoms accounting etc ..and he immediately upon being appointed to office by Mr Chirac gave them another 6 months breathing space to ignore the latest EU legislation regarding extortionate and according to the EU illegal charges made to call their hotline when their service has glitches ..can cost you as much as the monthly DSL fee just to be put on hold and lsiten to their in house ads ..before being passed to folks who dont understand either word in the phrase customer service ..
Staff are 80% ex state monopoly employees with lifetime job security ..and higher than private sector benefits and pension deals that no private sector workers in France can have as the government prohibited the expansion of those deals to the private sector by law ..
Following on from it's newscorp deal ..G has some very unappetising partners in it's ventures ..again "by their friends shall ye know them" ..
There are others with equal if not better experience in mobile phone technology and who didn't get there via state subsidies , shady deals and abuse of monopoly power , ignoring EU law for years , and revolving their CEO into politics and specifically into the position of overseer of the corporate finances and financial law in their country to cover their "donkeys" ...
[edited by: Leosghost at 4:42 pm (utc) on Dec. 17, 2006]