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BT should decide whether to launch a takeover bid for EE by Christmas, the Chief Executive of Orange has claimed.

As reported by the Financial Times, Stephane Richard - who heads up the French telecoms group - said BT is likely to make its mind up in the coming weeks.

BT has been in discussions with both EE - which is owned jointly by Orange and T-Mobile - and O2 with a view to a potential acquisition.

The former national telecoms operator has made no secret of its desire to re-enter the mobile market in the near future, in order to offer quad-play broadband deals.

It looks like BT will buy either EE or O2 - both of which offer 4G services in the UK - in order to meet this objective.

The two mobile broadband providers have shown a willingness to talk terms with BT, with Orange and T-Mobile - who each own a 50 per cent stake in EE - saying they are open to a sale.

Mr Richard told attendees at a conference in Paris that "BT has its own calendar".

"You should know more a few days before Christmas," he stated.

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