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

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

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.”

8 Responses

  1. ABC

    The French government is the most important stockholder, so they get to decide Dailymotion’s future. It’s called capitalism.

    • Liam Boogar

      Not actually true. Orange is the stakeholder, and the French Government is a minority shareholder of Orange.
      But beyond that, this is the SECOND time this has happened, and the blowback the first time was negative.

    • Pierre

      It is actually true. Anybody controlling 27% of Orange would have the same power, state or no state.
      But beyond that, this is the SECOND time misleading press coverage tricks people into thinking that french state actually can break a deal in which it’s not involved. This is bad journalism.

    • Fanch

      The blowback the first time was negative from a few tech bloggers who didn’t really understood the situation and planned to do a 100th article on Marissa Mayer + a few investors who just wanted to cash in.
      Most of the people working in the tech industry said how much of a disaster it would have been for Dailymotion to disappear into Yahoo’s lack of strategy on content. A good Chinese company might be the right option, this is where the future is, Yahoo is a company from the past that hardly exists outside of the US and Japan.
      Here the government didn’t block anything and even if they wanted to, they wouldn’t have the power to do it.

    • jeremie

      I think what was bad the first time, was mostly the communication around it. They agreed with Yahoo and then backed out, and then you have the minister that is using that to get some credit. Because of that Dailymotion and french startups in general had a lot of bad press.
      When you think about it, Yahoo was not in such great shape and the amount, proposed was way below what they could have paid. Remember they spent 1B for Tumblr and they wanted to buy Hulu for about 500M$…

  2. tusoli5

    Arnaud Montebourg has never been minister of economy in any historical date of france yet. This is just one example of all the bad way this article is written. Bad bad documentation leaves to angry nonsense. PLease talk after verifying what you’re talking about. Or leave journalism to peolpe more able to do it a proper way. Thank you.

    • tusoli5

      Arnaud montebourg was minister of economy, and productive uprising of economy, which is a part of the economy but was never the man in charge of economy in france, its ministers were quite awfull because he always had a title close to a serious minister but never really had it, ilke if he would be put aside but presented as a pupet. Macron is in charge plently. This firstly gives a more complicated situation, secondly, they are not breaking a sell, they are exploring the best way to sell it to keep it in an occidental market, which is clearly what every occidental nation would do, is it difficult to understand, do we have to blame them? Selling a good company to chinese markets when they are falling down drastically (like chineese markets right now are doing), is it a good idea? Many questions stay in this attitude and your supposed conclusions are a bit too quick to me.

    • tusoli5

      At the time Montebourg was supposed to handle economy, the real Minister of economy and external finances was Pierre Moscovici.
      You can find it all in wikipedia in … less than three minutes… Damn lost of time and I post it because it is not the first time your work is full of too easy personnal shortcuts.

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