Orange-France Telecom has reportedly ended discussions with Yahoo! about the latter buying a majority stake in its online video site Dailymotion, following objections by the French Ministry of Culture.
According to a report last week in French paper Le Monde, the government expressed misgivings about a US firm taking over one of France’s few preeminent internet companies, leading Orange – which is 27% state-owned – to drop the talks.
Reports first emerged last month that Yahoo! was interested in buying up to 75% of the French video site, after the Wall Street Journal claimed that Yahoo! could pay around US$200 million for the asset, in what would have been Marissa Mayer’s first major deal since joining Yahoo from Google last year.
The news comes as Yahoo! moves forward with its own video strategy, unveiling six new original web series at its ‘New Front’ event in New York last night.
Morgan Spurlock is producing Losing Your Virginity with John Stamos in which the eponymous actor will interview celebrities about how they lost their virginity.
The Daily Show’s Ed Helms has created Tiny Commando, an action comedy about a four-inch tall private detective that will be produced by Principato-Young Entertainment.
Principato-Young is teaming with Michael Eisner’s digital production company Vuguru for another of the original, We Need Help about an overworked personal assistant.
The three lifestyle shows are Fashion Recipe, hosted by celebrity stylist Brett Alan Nelson, food and film show Cinema & Spice and cookery show Grill Girls (WT).
“In the last year, we have more than doubled the original video programming on Yahoo! to become one of the Web’s largest content publishers,” said Erin McPherson, Yahoo! vice president and head of video.
“The new shows and partnerships we’re announcing at Yahoo!’s NewFront demonstrate how we are building scale, reaching more targeted audiences, and innovating with content.”