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Deutsche Telekom eyes Orange Netherlands

Merger with T-Mobile on the cards?

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Deutsche Telekom is close to making a €1.6bn ($2.2bn) bid for mobile operator Orange Netherlands - owned by France Telecom.

Though Orange won't confirm the report, one source told Reuters the deal is "very nearly there".

Orange Netherlands has been for sale since February. Both ABN Amro Capital and a private equity consortium including Providence Equity Partners and Rabo Capital showed interest in the Dutch business.

Orange is the smallest mobile operator on the Dutch market. It has 11 per cent of the Dutch mobile market and about 600,000 broadband customers.

The deal with Deutsche Telecom would merge Orange with T-Mobile, the third ranked mobile operator in the Netherlands with 2.3 million subscribers. T-Mobile will have to compete with KPN and Vodafone. KPN's market share alone is around 50 per cent.

Orange Netherlands refused to comment on this story.®

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