PARIS May 21 France Telecom plans to
invest between 30 and 50 million euros ($64 million) in its
video-sharing website Dailymotion and begin a fresh search for a
partner in the autumn, its chief executive said on Tuesday.
Stephane Richard also said in an interview with RTL radio
that "the door is not closed" to Yahoo Inc, which had
been in talks to buy a 75 percent stake in Dailymotion in a deal
that would have valued Europe's largest video website at $300
French government officials had raised concerns that the
country would lose control over one of its biggest Internet
industry successes if the deal went ahead, sources familiar with
the matter told Reuters earlier this month.
The government is France Telecom's largest shareholder, with
a 27 percent stake.
"I think that perhaps we could still hope to continue the
talks ... even if we did not agree on some points," Richard
After the talks with Yahoo collapsed, Richard said the
priority for the company was to find a partner to develop
Dailymotion outside Europe.
"We have a two-step plan: a first stage that aims to pursue
investments that are necessary for Dailymotion to avoid falling
behind its competitors, notably Youtube," Richard said.
"The second step will be a partnership that could bring
viewers to Dailymotion," he added.