Internet porn tycoon to acquire Le Monde

     Internet porn billionaire Xavier Niel is set to take over leading French daily Le Monde. The news comes after Le Monde's journalists' association, the paper's main shareholder, voted in favour of the three investors who President Nicolas Sarkozy sought to block. The consortium comprises Pierre Berge, ex-partner of the late fashion designer Yves Saint-Laurent, Lazard banker Matthieu Pigasse and Xavier Niel. The journalists' association voted 90 per cent in favour of their bid, turning down an offer by a group that includes France Telecom subsidiary Orange, the Nouvel Observateur group and Spain's Prisa, which owns El Pais newspaper, reports The Telegraph. The newspaper is expected to take the final decision on the offer by the end of the month. A multi-billionaire, Niel began his business career at the age of 19 when he launched a sexual contact service on Minitel, France's dial-up precursor to the internet. Later he made a foray into peep shows before making a huge fortune from his internet access and telephone companies, Free and Iliad.

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