Vivendi chairman Jean-Marie Messier would like to see a link-up between Vivendi-owned Canal Plus and News Corp's planned digital platform, Platco, according to Reuters.
Messier stated Thursday, April 6, that a merger between Canal Plus and part News Corp-owned BSkyB - in which Vivendi and Canal Plus have a 24.5% stake - was no longer on the map, but that an alliance with News Corp's global digital venture was a "fair and true industrial question".
Vivendi has recently formed a joint venture with UK mobile communications group Vodaphone Airtouch Plc, aimed at creating a massive Internet portal, MAP, available to Vivendi's and Vodaphone/Mannesmann's 70 million pay-TV and mobile phone customers.
Previous negotiations between Canal Plus and BSkyB had failed due to a disagreement over the control of the new entity. "The world has changed," explained Messier. "For [News Corp owner] Rupert Murdoch, the development of the Internet and the merger between AOL and Time Warner mean a lot."
Messier said he would also like to exchange Canal Plus' stake in AOL France, for a participation in AOL Europe, although he claims AOL would prefer an alliance on a European level with MAP.