Telecom Italia plans to sell its French ISP business Alice, according to French press reports. The Italian operator has asked private bank Calyon, part of Crédit Agricole, to handle the sale.
Despite major marketing efforts, Alice still remains a small player in the French market with 882,000 subscribers at the end of September, 2007. The value of the company is estimated to be between €600-650 million.
The sale of the ISP does not come as a surprise as the French market is now consolidating fast. Orange is now the largest ISP with 6.57 million subscribers, followed by Neuf Cegetel (3 million) and Free (2.62 million). Just recently, AOL France, Tele2 and Club Internet changed hands. Alice does have its own IPTV service, offering about 180 channels in its basic tier.