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Dailymotion to stay in France after axed Yahoo! sale

Polêmica sobre venda do site de difusão de vídeos Dailymotion divide especialistas.
Polêmica sobre venda do site de difusão de vídeos Dailymotion divide especialistas. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Created in a Paris apartment by two private investors in 2005, the video-sharing site Dailymotion became the emblem of Franch start-ups. But the site also got tied up in a political wrangle after French President François Hollande's government blocked its sale to US internet giant Yahoo! Inc. earlier this year.

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Today, the site's transatlantic battle came to a close.

France's Orange chief executive Stephane Richard said the site will remain with the company, and will also receive a 30 million euro investment, according to an interview published in the business dailyLes Echos.

Industrial Renewal Minister Arnaud Montebourg, who led the campaign to sink the Yahoo! sale this past May, hailed the news as good for both France and Europe.

In 2011, Dailymotion was taken over by France's Orange, a subsidiary of France Télécom, which is 27 percent owned by the government.

Stéphane Richard, the chief executive of France Télécom, reportedly said that he was interested in expanding Dailymotion internationally and wanted to partner with another technology company, preferably an American one, according to the New York Times.

Enter Yahoo! who also wanted to expand its video capacity. Talks then ensued between the two companies and Yahoo! was interested in buying a 75-percent stake.

However, the French government, which holds a 27 percent stake in Orange, stepped in and insisted on equal shares, sparking outrage among certain business circles who worried that this move tarnished attempts to make France appear more business-friendly.

Industrial Renewal Minister Montebourg said at the time that he blocked the deal because the US firm wanted to "devour" the French company, and he insisted a 50-50 split.

Dailymotion, a minor competitor to Google’s YouTube, employs about 150 people, 120 of them in France.

It claims that 2.5 million videos are viewed per month and is the 31st most visited website, according to the comScore institute.

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