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UK mobile merger imminent

Deustche Telekom and France Telecom are close to agreeing a deal to merge their U.K. operations, according to unnamed sources cited by Dow Jones Newswires this afternoon.

To further fuel the fire of speculation, France Telecom CEO failed to appear at the opening keynote of Broadband World Forum Europe in Paris on Monday, and replacement speaker Jean-Philippe Vanot, innovation and marketing head, was unable to provide a reason for his boss' absense.

Didier Lombard sends his apologies, he told a packed auditorium, before muttering something about the CEO being "otherwise engaged"...
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