Meanwhile, negotiations to sell the U.K. unit of AOL are ongoing. British newspapers reported that France Telecom’s Orange operation has pulled out of negotiations. That would leave BSkyB and Carphone Warehouse as the remaining bidders.
Neuf Cegetel will acquire 500,000 broadband customers, and AOL France’s customer service operations. Neuf Cegetel had been providing ADSL transport services for AOL in France all along.
The addition of half a million broadband subscribers should help Neuf Cegetel reach a total of about 2 million ADSL subscribers before the end of 2006.
AOL will provide content services and manage – and share profit from – the online advertising sales for Neuf Cegetel’s Internet portal audience on http://www.neufportail.fr/ and http://www.cegetelportail.fr/ as well as http://www.aol.fr/, which together total 9 million unique visitors monthly.