May 31, 2018 / 1:02 PM / 23 days ago

Orange aiming to merge video arm with Altice Studio - Le Figaro

PARIS, May 31 (Reuters) - Orange, France's biggest telecoms operator, is looking to merge its Orange Cinema Series (OCS) arm with Altice Studio to create a new business big enough to challenge the likes of Netflix, Le Figaro newspaper reported.

Le Figaro said on its website the deal would see Orange and SFR - which is owned by Altice - link up their OCS and Altice Studio video services, allowing Orange to access U.S. content signed up by Altice Studio.

Orange's OCS has an exclusive contract with HBO, while Altice has exclusive distribution deals with Discovery Communications and NBC Universal.

Le Figaro added in its unsourced report that a merger between OCS and Altice Studio could represent a setback for Vivendi's Canal Plus TV division by creating even tougher competition for Canal Plus.

Spokesmen for Orange and Altice declined to comment on the report. (Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain, Sudip Kar-Gupta and Helen Reid; Editing by Mark Potter)

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