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Orange eyeing up Dailymotion buy out, reports indicate deal in region of £58m

Orange may look to complete a wholesale takeover of Dailymotion, the popular online video service, according to anonymous sources speaking to a major French business publication.

France Telecom, the parent company of the UK network operator, already owns 49 per cent of Dailymotion thanks to a £50 million transaction last year. Speculative reports now indicate it may be plotting to move for the remaining 51 per cent of the popular video sharing site.

Estimates give the remaining shares a price tag of more than £58 million, with rumours hinting that France Telecom would be likely to seek partners and try to expand the website were to acquire outright ownership.

Dailymotion claims over 135 million unique visitors each month, saying it handles a total of around 1.8 billion video views every four weeks, making it the second most popular video sharing site after YouTube - though the gap is sizable.

YouTube's online press office ventures that its site uploads 60 hours of video every minute, enjoys 800 million unique visits a month, and can boast 4 billion video views - every day.

Catching up with the Internet giant would be a hugely ambitious long-term aim for France Telecom-Orange, though with sales of over £35 billion each year, the telecoms behemoth is in a stronger position than most to challenge YouTube's market dominance.