Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is in discussions with Orange SA (NYSE:ORAN) (EPA:ORA) to purchase a minority stake in Dailymotion, an online video platform, according to reports from the Wall Street Journal.
Orange CEO confirms negotiations
Orange SA (NYSE:ORAN) (EPA:ORA) is seeking partners to expand the reach of Dailymotion to improve its competitiveness against Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s YouTube.
Stephane Richard, chief executive officer of Orange SA (NYSE:ORAN) (EPA:ORA) confirmed the negotiations between his company and Microsoft Corporation during an interview with a French TV channel at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.
“Talks are continuing…with Microsoft. This doesn’t mean that we will reach an agreement, but I am very hopeful we will succeed,” said Richard.
During the interview, Richard made it clear that the company will maintain a majority stake in Dailymotion. He said, “We want to stay the master of Dailymotion’s destiny.”
Orange offers to sell 10% stake in Dailymotion to Microsoft
The French telecommunications service provider is offering to sell around a 10% stake in Dailymotion to Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), according to people familiar with the discussions.
Orange SA (NYSE:ORAN) (EPA:ORA) is also negotiating the bundling of Dailymotion into some of the devices and services of the Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) such as the Windows Phone operating system.
The sources said, the negotiations between Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Orange SA (NYSE:ORAN) (EPA:ORA) started after former CEO Steve Ballmer visited Paris last year.
Yahoo deal failed
Last year, the French telecommunications service provider tried to sell a majority stake in Dailymotion to Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO); however, its government did not approve the transaction.
Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) abandoned its agreement with Orange SA (NYSE:ORAN) (EPA:ORA) after French Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg opposed it. The French government owns a 27% stake in the telecommunications service provider.
Dailymotion is one of the few startups in France. It was established in 2005, the same time as YouTube. According to a survey from COMSCORE, Inc. (NASDAQ:SCOR), Dailymotion was the 11th largest online video platform with unique users worldwide last year.