Orange SA (London/Paris: OGE) has finally done the dirty deed and announced its withdrawal from the Swedish market, citing "the pressures placed upon it by the UMTS license requirements and current market conditions" (see Orange Quits Sweden).
Is this the same Orange that only weeks ago denied it would abandon Sweden? (See Orange Squeezed in Sweden.) Yes, it is.
Times are tougher at Orange just now, following parent France Telecom SA's (NYSE: FTE) capex cuts (see Orange Shackled by FT). Add that to the refusal of the Swedish regulator to alter the 3G license conditions (see No 3G Extension for Orange), and, well, c'est la vie.
And it won't be much of a Christmas for the many staffers at Orange Sverige AB who will now lose their jobs.
Expect further decisions like this, as cost-cutting makes more and more operators consider the financial viability of overseas operations.
— Ray "God Bless Us Every One!" Le Maistre, European Editor, Unstrung