France Telecom's quad-play offers come under regulatory fire

France Telecom's (NYSE: FTE) quad-play (wireless, wireline voice, broadband and TV) bundle may offer the benefits of a consolidated bill, but now as reported in Reuters France's Competition Authority and consumer associations are questioning whether the incumbent's plans limit competition because they require users to sign for two-year contracts.

This investigation comes after the Competition Authority gave the incumbent carrier the green light to offer a quad-play bundle this June with a condition that it would watch the new offerings. Prior to gaining the Competition Authority's clearance, France Telecom--once a state-run monopoly--was banned from offering a quad-play offering to consumers.

One issue of concern to France's consumer associations and France Telecom's two main competitors Iliad and Vivendi's SFR is the two-year contract length. While Iliad and Vivendi offer quad-play packages, they don't require subscribers to commit to a 24-month contract.

One industry source, who did not want to be named in the Reuters article, said that "if France Telecom calls all their existing clients, signs them up for quadruple play and locks them into place for 24 months, we are dead."

For more:
- Reuters has this article

Related articles:
France Telecom puts quad-play plans into action
France Telecom gets permission to launch quad-play offering
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France Telecom's new CEO focuses on restoring worker happiness
France Telecom to reshuffle the management deck

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