Microsoft and Orange in Dailymotion talks

Microsoft is talking to Orange about striking a partnership to develop its video site Dailymotion, CEO Stéphane Richard has confirmed to BFM Business radio at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Richard told BFM Business that Orange was engaged in “ongoing discussions, particularly with Microsoft”. While he cautioned that these would not necessarily lead to an agreement, Richard said he was “hopeful” and that a deal would make sense for both parties.

Richard said that an agreement would take the form of “an industrial partnership” in which Orange would continue to be the majority partner.

“We wish to retain a majority stake in Dailymotion because we wish to remain master of Dailymotion’s destiny, which can still bring considerable benefits to France’s innovation ecosystem,” he said.

Richard said Orange was also in talks with other potential partners, including French content partners. He said it would be important to “enrich the content” on the site. Richard said that the future of Dailymotion and YouTube would involve a migration toward high-quality premium services.

Richard hinted in December that Orange was close to securing a partnership with “a major player in the digital economy” for Dailymotion following the breakdown of talks earlier in 2013 – as a result of French governmental intervention – that would have seen Yahoo take a stake in the site.