Bloomberg Spotlights French Tech Billionaire's Porn Start

Sep 3, 2014 8:00 AM PST

PARIS — France’s eighth richest man and head of Illiad, the telecommunications giant working on a move to take over T-Mobile in the U.S. had his roots in porn.

Bloomberg BusinessWeek Television’s “On The Move,” focused on billionaire Xavier Niel’s empire and how he got his start which included sex chat services and peep shows.

The report said that Niel, who is also part owner of the Le Monde newspaper, was also involved with founding Minitel, France’s precursor to the Internet.

Referred to as a “gypsy’ and “wild child” by colleagues when he broke into porn, the titan is now considered one of the most successful and respected businessmen in France.

The money Niel received from his porn enterprises helped bankroll his move into more mainstream enterprises, according to Bloomberg.

Niel now owns more than 55 percent of Illiad valued at about $10 billion.

Commenting on how “sex sells,” the interviewer said, "Money wins through in the end.”

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