Partner Communications, Israel’s second-largest mobile phone operator, said on Tuesday it has notified French telecoms group Orange of its decision to terminate its Orange brand license agreement.

Partner, which said it will start a process of looking for a new brand name, will continue providing services under the Orange brand name until further announcement.

Orange and Partner – which pays a fee to use Orange’s brand – in June agreed terms to end their licensing deal following a public row. Israel had protested to France after Orange Chief Executive Stephane Richard said he would terminate the licensing arrangement with Partner “tomorrow morning” if the contracts allowed. He later apologised.

Orange had that should the branding agreement be terminated, Orange would rebrand its research and development operations in Israel under its own name.

(Reporting by Tova Cohen and Steven Scheer)

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