Keyword: Xavier Niel

French billionaire claims he spied on ex-president for security agency

Telecommunications tycoon Xavier Niel, co-owner of Le Monde, says he worked for French security services in 1980s.

The entrepreneur who has challenged the French establishment

Xavier Niel, who is behind the surprise bid for American firm T-Mobile, has shaken up the traditional world of French business.

France's Iliad makes surprise bid for T-Mobile US

The French company - owner of mobile phone and internet network operator Free - says it has offered $15 billion for majority stake in US firm.

Le Monde editor quits amid French newspapers’ digital upheaval

Natalie Nougayrede left after majority of senior editors quit amid plan to shift staff to paper’s online operations and start tablet edition.

New computer school makes French students teach themselves

Huge number of applicants for school founded by telecom magnate Xavier Niel who wants to reduce France's shortage in computer programmers.

The day that French internet boss Xavier Niel made his fortune

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Xavier Niel earned significant amounts of cash in his early business career through investing in sex shops. But the billionaire’s real money was made in the telecommunications industry through his development and ownership of internet service provider Free. Here, in the second part of Mediapart's investigation into the influential businessman, Laurent Mauduit examines the crucial day on which Niel consolidated his control over the company that was to make his name and his fortune.

From penniless youth to billionaire – how Free boss Xavier Niel became one of France's most powerful men

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He is one of the most powerful and influential men in France today. Not only is Xavier Niel the founder and main shareholder of the country's second biggest internet service provider, Free, the billionaire businessman is also part-owner of the nation's best-known newspaper Le Monde. Such is his power – and personality – that he is not afraid to take on Google, while he is friends with some of the most prominent families who make up France's wealthy business elite. Yet in the late 1980s Niel was a 'brilliant but penniless' youth with no formal qualifications working as a technician in the twilight world of sex chatlines and dating in central Paris. In an investigation Mediapart charts Niel's career from his lucrative ownership of sex shops in Paris and Strasbourg to the day he seized total control of the company that would ultimately make him France’s 12th wealthiest man. Laurent Mauduit and Dan Israel report.

Free Mobile sparks French telecoms price war

Xavier Niel's Free Mobile has launched, with an aggressive price war against main French operators in one of Europe's most expensive markets.