Orange bribes the Assembly with a Cheap Phone Plan

Aug 13, 2012
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Orange LogoThe Assembly announced this week that Orange has won the contract with the assembly, which will put all members of the Assembly (about 3,000 lines) on the same phone plan, which will be paid for by the Assembly. According to Le Figaro[FR], The Assembly had previously been subsidizing individual phone plans up to 6,150 euros per year per Assemblyman, and, in looking to cut back costs, decided to put the whole Assembly on one phone plan. The call to TelCo.companies came earlier this year in March, and will take effect over the next few months.

France Telecom stacks the deck, now holds their iPhone’s hostage

One delegate from La Loire (the region home to Nantes) said that having all members of the Assembly on Orange “won’t change of thing” – clearly he didn’t check if the Assembly had good 3G inside. Nonetheless, with French Telecom companies in and out of government buildings squabbling over who is hurting who, it seems like things like this just might tip the scale. Martin Bouygues recently sent a letter to the government representatives, urging them not to allow the renewal of Orange’s contract with Free Mobile in 2018, which allows Free Mobile to use Orange’s mobile network for its customers. SFR is also accusing Orange of providing anti-competitive prices to French customers who have a second home (~3 Million customers) – their plan allows customers to turn their second home’s phone on and off at will with a very low monthly bill for the months when it is on.

With all the cards stacking up against Orange, it seems convenient that they now, literally, have all the members of assembly in their back pocket.