Sluggish economy impacts France Telecom's Q3 results

A challenging economic and regulatory environment has driven France Telecom's earnings down eight percent. During the quarter, France Telecom reported that revenue dropped 6.4 percent to $18.8 billion, falling short of analyst forecasts of $19.03 billion.

Prior to announcing its earnings this week, France Telecom said in July that ongoing regulatory issues such as reductions of call termination rates in France, Poland and Spain would have a big impact on overall company revenue.

But regulatory issues and the economy aren't France Telecom's only problems. Adding to the pain is a raft of employee suicides (it recently reported its 25th) that have taken place over the past year. These suicides could possibly cost the company about $1.48 billion. The ongoing suicide problem prompted France Telecom to put its restructuring process on hold until the end of 2009 and realign its management team.  

For more:
- Wall Street Journal has this article
- Reuters also has this article

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