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France Telecom cleared to buy back Wanadoo

Some T-Online stuff as well

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France Telecom's (FT) plan to acquire the outstanding shares in its ISP division, Wanadoo, was given the thumbs-up by the regulator of the French Stock Exchange yesterday. This paves the way for FT to move ahead in its plan to acquire the minority interests in Wanadoo (29.4 per cent).

Like other incumbent telcos, FT's traditional voice revenue streams are being squeezed; it reckons it can generate new revenue growth from broadband.

Elsewhere, T-Online, Europe's biggest ISP, today reported that increased use of the Net and a growth in broadband subscribers helped boost revenues by 18.1 per cent from €1.6bn to €1.9bn in 2003. EBITDA (earnings before interest etc.) increased to €320.7m from €74.1m.

In 2003, customers of the Deutsche Telekom subsidiary increased by 7.3 per cent to 13.1m, while the number of broadband subscribers increased by more than 27 per cent from 2.8m to 3.57m.

In the last year T-Online also offered more paid-for services such as video-on-demand and music downloads, said chairman Thomas Holtrop. "After years of a free-of-charge culture, the Internet is increasingly becoming a sales platform for high-quality content and services. T-Online has played a decisive role in shaping this trend in Germany and will continue to do so actively in future." ®

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