Yahoo beaten up by the French

Search engine Yahoo has given up on a cunning plan to buy a majority stake in online video website Dailymotion after the French government said that it did not want the buyout to take place.

Dailymotion, which sounds like something you do at 10am with a copy of the newspaper, would have been the biggest deal in the 10-month tenure of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer.

She wanted to buy 75 percent stake in Dailymotion, which is owned by telecommunications company France-Telecom Orange, for something like $300 million.

But the government officials were outraged that one of the biggest French successes since the battle of Austerlitz was falling to a nasty company run by a nation which thought that sticking minced meat between two slices of bread was top level cuisine.

French government officials and France Telecom executives wanted to arrange a deal where Yahoo would take a 50 percent stake instead, and Yahoo would have to serve up proper food in the staff café. Yahoo said no way.

According to Reuters, YouTube wanted Dailymotion because it is the one of the most popular online destinations for video, although it lags far behind Google’s YouTube. Nevertheless it would give Yahoo a foot in the door.

France Telecom-Orange acquired Dailymotion for $170 million through a two-phase deal, with the most recent transaction closing in January. Dailymotion’s editorial and executive management operate independently of France Telecom-Orange.