French government wants a Dailymotion

OrangesFrance’s Orange has promised to look at all offers for its Dailymotion video-sharing site after being leaned on by the government.

The French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron said that France was seeking to promote a strong European digital sector.

Speaking on BFM Business, Macron denied that he was opposed to an alliance with Asia’s PCCW, presumably because they did not know how to cook outside of a giant frypan.

“I did not say ‘no’ … They have an industrial project which is excellen… What I said was: ‘Should we enter into exclusive negotiations?’ The answer is no. We should look at all the offers,” he said.

Macron when asked about media reports that he favoured a European alliance for the operation.

He said: “We (France) are a state and we have a European digital policy.” Yes, but are you in favour of the sale, you could easily have just answered “I like Langue de boeuf for all the relevance that answer contained.

Part of Macron’s problem is that Dailymotion is one of those rarities – a French startup which did really well. The company, founded in 2005, has managed to attract funding and expand globally, but Orange has argued for years that to catch up with Google Inc.’s YouTube, it needs to find partners.

In 2013, then-Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg prevented Orange from selling a majority stake in the site to U.S. Web giant Yahoo Inc. After the deal fell apart, Mr. Montebourg said the U.S. tech firm might have “devoured” a French jewel.