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Orange-Bouygues Telecom merger talks yet to progress

Orangeand Bouygues Groupconfirmed March 31 in separate statements that their discussions regarding anOrange-Bouygues Telecommerger have not yetadvanced enough.

The two companies said their respective boards will meet byApril 3 to determine whether to pursuethe proposed merger.

The negotiations are hampered by unresolved issues, such asBouygues Telecom's value, the eventual size of Bouygues' stake in Orange, andhow Bouygues will be represented on an expanded board for Orange, Reutersreported March 30, citing two sources close to the matter.

In addition, the French economyministry reportedly wanted to keep three seats on Orange's board, as well asenough voting rights to block resolutions during shareholder meetings.The French government owns 23% of Orange.