Arnaud Montebourg, the Industry Minister of France, said that he blocked Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) from buying a majority stake of Dailymotion last week. The reasoning for the block is because he believed that the U.S. company simply wanted to “devour” a smaller competitor. Yahoo! was in talks to acquire 75% of Dailymotion, which is owned by France Telecom’s Orange. This would have valued Dailymotion at $300 million.
“We don’t live in a closed economy. The digital economy is not a Gallic village,” stated Fleur Pellerin, the French government’s Minister Delegate for Small and Medium Enterprises, Innovation, and the Digital Economy in an interview with Journal Du Dimanche. Pellerin added that the Dailymotion team, technology, and jobs should remain in France. Pellerin said that the potential deal with Yahoo! was not balanced and would have likely led to Dailymotion shutting down. She also acknowledged that some of the best startups in France are struggling to grow and they need help.
“If this requires a tour with funds from Silicon Valley alongside Orange acting as a reference, this is not a problem for me,” she added in the interview with Journal Du Dimanche, as translated by Reuters. “All options need to be studied.”
Other companies that have made bids to buy out Dailymotion include Vivendi and a consortium of investors including Xavier Niel, Matthieu Pigasse, and Pierre Berge.