Bloomberg News

France Telecom Offers Free Facebook to Emerging-Market Customers

November 17, 2011

Nov. 16 (Bloomberg) -- France Telecom SA, the owner of the Orange mobile brand, will sell mobile phones with unlimited access to Facebook Inc. in eastern Europe and Africa, as it seeks to drive Internet services in faster-growing markets.

France Telecom will sell three devices built by Alcatel Lucent SA, in Romania and markets across Africa, as part of a package offering free access to Facebook’s services, including instant messaging, Patrick Remy, vice president of devices, said yesterday at an event in London.

France Telecom, under Chief Executive Officer Stephane Richard, is seeking to expand in Africa through acquisitions and additional data offerings to counter sluggish European markets where the company is selling some assets.

Revenue from France fell 4.7 percent in the third quarter, while sales in Spain climbed 4.8 percent. In Africa and the Middle East, where the company has operations in countries including Kenya and Cameroon, underlying revenue climbed 6.1 percent excluding Ivory Coast and Egypt.

--Editors: Robert Valpuesta, Simon Thiel.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan Browning in London at jbrowning9@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.net


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