PARIS, May 3 (Reuters) - Entertainment group Vivendi has offered to buy France Telecom’s Dailymotion, an online video-sharing service at the centre of a row over political interference in French companies, news website Wansquare reported on Friday.
A consortium made up of Iliad founder Xavier Niel, Lazard banker Matthieu Pigasse and industrialist Pierre Berge has also made a bid, although at a much lower price than previously offered by U.S.-based web portal Yahoo, the website said.
France Telecom had been in talks to sell a 75-percent stake in Dailymotion to Yahoo, but the plan met with opposition from French Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg.
Montebourg said he disliked the idea of one of France’s most successful start-ups being “devoured” by Americans.
His intervention reignited a debate about state interference in the French economy. French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici on Thursday distanced himself from Montebourg’s stance saying: “I was not particularly involved in this case.”
The head of France Telecom, Stephane Richard, told Le Figaro newspaper he had already received new proposals from “European media giants”, without giving details.
Vivendi declined to comment. Iliad was not immediately available to comment on the reports of its interest in the website which competes with Google’s YouTube.