Yahoo can go ahead and buy French company – official

The French do not need a Dailymotion and should be happy that Yahoo is keen to take such a site off its hands, a French minister has said.

Dailymotion is a an online video-sharing website and is owned by France Telecom, which is keen to sell it to Yahoo.

But there is an outcry that a wholly owned French company will be handed over to new American owners who do not understand the meaning of good cuisine and speaking French. There are many in Paris who still feel that the US should be speaking French after Napoleon’s troops forced the English out of the country.

Last week, Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg blocked Yahoo plan to buy a majority stake in Dailymotion because the US group wanted to “devour” its smaller competitor and was planning to use ketchup.

However that prompted another row over political interference in French companies and now the junior minister for digital economy, Fleur Pellerin, told French media  that there was no reason why Yahoo could not buy Daily Motion.

In an interview in French weekly Journal Du Dimanche Pellerin said that the digital economy is not a Gallic village. However she wants to make sure that the company, its technology, engineers and jobs must remain anchored in France.

Yahoo had been in talks to acquire a 75 percent stake in Dailymotion, owned by France Telecom’s Orange, a deal that would have valued Europe’s largest video website at $300 million.

As it stood, Pellerin said, the deal with Yahoo was not balanced enough and would have led to the disappearance of Dailymotion, but she said it would be an economic and industrial dead-end for Dailymotion to remain exclusively French.