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Disney slips Orange a Mickey

Ben Charny Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Ben Charny
covers Net telephony and the cellular industry.
Ben Charny
Orange announced Thursday it will sell ring tones, screen savers and other cell phone features based on Disney characters. Under the deal with Walt Disney Internet Group, the European cell phone giant will offer Disney content in Portugal, Belgium and the U.K., an area representing a third of its 44 million subscribers.

Disney and other entertainment giants are trying to gain a foothold in Europe, which has high cell phone ownership. European wireless carriers say sales of mobile downloads can represent more than 10 percent of annual revenue, a figure not matched by U.S. rivals. However, worldwide carriers' strategy of favoring well-known brand names for new features has been criticized by many in the wireless developer community.