French broadband service provider Iliad is engaging in exclusive negotiations to acquire Telecom Italia's French network business, Liberty Surf Group SAS, aslo known as Alice France, for about $1.3 billion. Telecom Italia's is in the midst of a restructuring and recovery process, so the negtiations do not come as much of a surprise, though TI reportedly had been looking to sell for a while and had drawn interest from a number of parties.
The acquisition would give Iliad, which operates the Freebox TV service in the tightly-competitive French market, a larger base of new potential TV customers. Iliad currently is considered the third-ranked broadband service provider in France behind France Telecom and Neuf Cegetel.
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