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Europe News France

  • French president Nicolas Sarkozy will host a meeting on Thursday that could help settle the fate of a planned 90 billion euro ($123 billion) merger between the country's utilities Gaz de France and Suez.

  • EU regulators fined Spain's Telefonica 151 million euros ($205 million) on Wednesday, claiming the company unfairly squeezed rivals by setting wholesale Internet prices too high to allow them turn a profit.

  • Sodexho Alliance said nine-month sales were 10.22 billion euros ($13.9 billion), up from 9.87 billion euros a year earlier, although like-for-like growth eased to 7.8% from the first half's 8.2% amid a comparison with strong year-earlier figures.

  • French food group Danone is in exclusive talks to sell its biscuit and cereal unit for 5.3 billion euros ($7.2 billion) in cash to Kraft Foods, the world's biggest cookie maker, they said on Tuesday.

  • France will press its European Union partners for more time to balance its budget so that it can implement structural reforms, the country's Europe minister said in an interview published today.

  • Warner Music chief executive Edgar Bronfman Jr. was questioned by a Paris court last week as part of an inquiry into alleged insider trading at Vivendi Universal (now Vivendi SA) in 2002, French daily Les Echos reported, citing sources close to the matter.

  • Kraft Foods, is understood to be in talks to buy the biscuit and cereal products division of Frances Groupe Danone, owner of the LU, Prince and Tuc biscuit brands, the Financial Times reported.

  • French consumer confidence strengthened in June as new President Nicolas Sarkozy pushed forward a tax relief plan and as unemployment fell to its lowest levels in 25 years, national statistics bureau Insee said Friday.

  • Shares in Alitalia gained 2.1% Friday following reports the Italian airline is considering a potential bid from Air France.

  • French President Nicolas Sarkozy plans to push for an alliance between Gaz de France and its Algerian counterpart Sonatrach when he visits Algiers in July, the Wall Street Journal reported.

  • Reinsurer Paris Re detailed its forthcoming $2 billion share flotation on Thursday, promising one of the French capital's biggest stock market listings so far this year.

  • Remy Cointreau, the maker of Remy Martin cognac and Piper-Heidsieck champagne, said Monday it swung to a loss in the fiscal full year after it incurred a one-time charge related to its leaving a distribution network.

  • France Telecom shares fell Monday after the French Finance Ministry said it plans to sell a stake in the company worth up to 3.7 billion euros ($5 billion) to cut public debt.

  • European equity markets looked set to extend losses next week as stocks teetered at inflated price levels with little on the corporate and economic calendar to act as a positive catalyst.

  • A view into the trade hall of the Commerzbank in Frankfurt, central Germany

    Investors have to ask themselves some critical questions this week. Chief among them: are higher Treasury yields here to stay and are we close to the top in yields?

  • Day one of the Paris air show at Le Bourget had to belong to Airbus. After such a disappointing few years the European plane maker needed to make a big splash on home turf to prove that its recovery is firmly on track.

  • French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said in an interview published Friday that decisions on the future of state-owned Gaz de France -- including whether to go ahead with its merger with Suez -- will be made "in the coming weeks."

  • The European Union on Wednesday opened an investigation into whether French companies get an unfair edge on the EU market from state-financed, low electricity tariffs.

  • One of the top executives of European aerospace firm EADS, strategy chief Jean-Paul Gut, announced his resignation on Monday in what he described as a rift with its French and German leaders over its structure.

  • Nicolas Sarkozy, President-elect France

    French President Nicolas Sarkozy is set to secure a huge parliamentary majority next week that will bolster his reform plans after his center-right allies dominated the first round of an election on Sunday.