France's Canal Plus has abandoned its search for a local partner for Italian pay-TV platform Telepiu, according to French daily newspaper La Tribune.

Canal Plus, which hold nearly 100% of Telepiu, was going to sell a share in the loss-making operator to Italian utilities and communications group Enel. However, the deal fell through when Canal Plus' main shareholder, utilities, communications and media giant Vivendi, struck an alliance with Vodafone AirTouch/Mannesmann. The latter is a conventional phone operator in Italy, through Omnitel Pronto Italia SpA and Infostrada SpA, a competitor to Wind SpA, controlled by Enel.

Telepiu's losses swelled from euros146m in 1998 to euros187m in 1999, heavily contributing to Canal Plus' increased loss of euros336m, compared to euros28m in 1998. The platform is expected to be make a loss again in 2000.