Orange/Wanadoo venture fuels merger speculation

Orange and Wanadoo are to launch their first jointly branded product later this year, in a move that will fuel speculation the two France Telecom-owned companies are to merge.

The joint venture will see the launch of the UK’s first broadband service that will work on both a mobile phone network and fixed-line internet, depending on where customers are located when they connect to the Net.

If customers access broadband at home, they will be connected to internet services via Wanadoo, but if they are on the move the connection will be over Orange’s high-speed third-generation (3G) mobile network. The Orange/Wanadoo datacard will connect customers to the fastest available service.

The announcement follows several years of collaboration between the two brands, which last year resulted in bundled mobile and internet broadband offers. But the datacard will be the first product that Orange and Wanadoo have launched together, and comes amid rumours of a possible merger.

Talks are believed to have taken place last summer and the companies confirmed they had been “working much more closely”. However, they have denied suggestions of a full-scale merger (MW September 30, 2004).

France Telecom is to review the advertising for all its European brands, including Orange and Wanadoo, with a view to consolidating the business (MW February 3).

The company reduced its media planning and buying roster from nine to two agencies in 2003, and says it is likely to do something similar with its ad business. The account is estimated to be worth &£500m.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

Register and receive the best content from the only title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we will be your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here