This is not an April Fool’s Joke: France is blocking Dailymotion’s acquisition. Again.

Apr 1, 2015
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Déjà vu. Seriously. Headlines in France look all too familiar: France’s Economic Minister favors a less Asian more European partner in the sale of Dailymotion, which announced that it was in exclusive talks with China’s PCCW two weeks ago.

What’s crazy is that, since the last time that Dailymotion’s acquisition by Yahoo!, France has changed out its Economic Minister. The highly unpopular Arnaud Montbourg was replaced by young, former Rothschild banker Emmanuel Macron, who, up until this point, has been the voice of reason inside the Socialist Party administration.

I’m still holding out for this to be a April Fool’s Day prank – far more creative than Pac-Man on Google Maps if it is – however, the articles on LeFigaro & LeMonde would suggest that this is no elaborate hoax. Macron says he would rather a European company – not an American or Asian company – remain the stake owner in Dailymotion, because France needs an ‘ambitious digital strategy.’

Other than the clearly Colbertist infiltration of the private market, this desire is misguided for the following reasons:

  1. In order for Dailymotion to be a global company, it needs a Global partner.
  2. Potential global partners know this and want to buy Dailymotion if they are going to help it grow
  3. The French Government’s ‘ambitious strategy’ for the private market should be to enable the private market to grow, not to force it into the mold it has decided

This all stinks of 2 giant steps back, undo-ing everything the FrenchTech initiative has been working to build in terms of an international image, and undo-ing the newly created Business France before it gets off the ground.

A spokesperson for French Industry Minister Emmanuel Macron added:

“[We prefer] no exclusive negotiation with China’s PCCW. We want Orange to explore all the options first because European digital sovereignty is an important issue. That means we are not saying that we are opposed to the Chinese offer, there is no veto, but all the options have to be explored first. And at the end Orange will ultimately decide who it sells a minority stake of Dailymotion to but we want to make sure that all the options have been explored first.”