Microsoft In Talks To Buy Minority Stake In Dailymotion

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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.

About the Author

Marie Cabural
Marie received her Bachelors Degree in Mass Communication from New Era University. She is a former news writer and program producer for Nation Broadcasting Corporation (NBC-DZAR 1026), a nationwide AM radio station. She was also involved in events management. Marie was also a former Young Ambassador of Goodwill during the 26th Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Program (SSEAYP). She loves to read, travel and take photographs. She considers gardening a therapy.