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Orange UK has seen a 16 per cent fall in the number of customers subscribing to its fixed-line home broadband services.

The internet service provider's parent company France Telecom reported that 59,000 fewer consumers were using its services in the final quarter of the year than between July and September.

Some 840,000 households were signed up for Orange's home broadband between October and December 2009, compared to 899,000 in the third quarter.

According to France Telecom, revenues from home communication services decreased by 14.9 per cent to 235 million euros (£213 million) by the end of the year.

In better news for Orange, the broadband provider's proposed merger with mobile broadband rival T-Mobile was approved by the European Commission this week.

Gervais Pellissier, Deputy Chief Executive at France Telecom, said the clearance would allow Orange and T-Mobile to create "a strong operator and to offer high-quality network and services to our customers".

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