Orange reaches a deal for split with Israel's Partner after spat

30th June 2015, Comments 0 comments

French mobile company Orange reached a deal with Israel's Partner to retake control of its brand, it said in a statement Tuesday, as it seeks to move on from a major diplomatic spat.

Orange will pay up to 90 million euros ($100 million) to regain direct control of the brand in Israel within two years, which had been licenced to Partner until 2025.

"The discussions were pragmatic, carried out in an amicable atmosphere and the two parties have reached a satisfactory mutual agreement," Pierre Louette, Orange's vice director general, told AFP.

"It was a situation inherited from a previous contract that gave a near-eternal right of usage" of the name, added Louette.

"We had a chance to regain the brand more quickly, which is a good thing."

Attempts by the French company to recover use of its Orange brand in Israel had led to major diplomatic strife after the head of the company, Stephane Richard, made comments that were interpreted as a desire to boycott Israel for political reasons.

On June 3, Richard told a conference in Cairo that he would break the relationship with Partner immediately if it was legally possible, which was seen as support for a Palestinian-led boycott campaign.

Richard later said his comments were misinterpreted and that he did not support any kind of boycott. He travelled for talks with Israeli leaders in a bid to smooth over the controversy.

Orange says its intention all along was to develop closer links to Israel, particularly related to research and development.

Richard is also suing over death threats against him and his family over the affair.


© 2015 AFP

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