Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
France Télécom (outside of France often spelled France Telecom, without the accents) is the main telecommunication company in France. It currently employs about 221,657 people and has nearly 90 million customers worldwide, including the French départements d'outre mer. For the last twelve months ending Sep 2004 it had revenue of 60.11 billion dollars.
The former CEO of France Télécom Thierry Breton was appointed back in 2002 after leaving his previous company Thomson (formerly THOMSON Multimedia SA, owner of the legendary American brand RCA) where he served as the CEO. On February 25th, 2005, he has been appointed minister of finance and industries. The current CEO is Didier Lombard.
Up to 1988, France Télécom was known as the Direction Générale des Télécommunications, a division of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications. It became autonomous in 1991. It ceased to be a state monopoly on January 1 1998.
In 2004 France Télécom is likely to have to pay back 1 billion euros in alleged unlawful subsidies (in breach of state aid rules) it received from the French government, following an 18-month investigation by Mario Monti, the EC Competition Commissioner. It is understood that both France Télécom and the French government are appealing this decision.
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