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Orange Says It’s Talking to Microsoft on Dailymotion Stake Sale

Orange SA, France’s largest phone company, said today it’s in talks with Microsoft Corp. about selling a minority stake in its online-video service Dailymotion.

The operator, whose attempt to sell Dailymotion to Yahoo! Inc. last year was blocked, has been searching for a partner to help expand the smaller YouTube rival outside Europe. Orange wants to retain a majority stake in Dailymotion and no agreement has been reached at this point, spokeswoman Heloise Rothenbuhler said, confirming comments by Chief Executive Officer Stephane Richard reported in Le Monde.

Orange is also holding talks with Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. and Vivendi SA’s cable-TV unit Canal Plus, the Wall Street Journal reported today. Rothenbuhler declined to comment about that report.

Yahoo neared an agreement to buy a stake in Dailymotion last May. Talks were interrupted when the French government, which owns about 27 percent of Orange, vetoed the sale.

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