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PSA scraps joint venture for in-car internet access

PSA Peugeot Citroen and media group Vivendi Universal have abandoned their joint venture to equip cars with internet access, the French newspaper Liberation has reported.

Peugeot is seeking a new venture with Ford Motor, in which Vivendi would have a much smaller stake, to offer its customers an alternative in-car web technology, the paper said.

The Vivendi project, called Egery, was aimed at creating a new platform for the mobile internet, but quickly turned into a fiasco, the paper cited an unnamed participant in the project as saying.

"The PSA teams never wanted to collaborate with Egery," the unnamed person told the paper. "Same thing on Vivendi's side, to the extent that Egery quickly became an empty shell."

Liberation said the situation with Egery became critical in February this year when the venture's managing director Jean-Marc Monguillet asked for new financing.

Neither shareholder could agree on how much to charge drivers for the technology, while Peugeot demanded compensation for bringing its portfolio of customers to the venture, the paper said.

Peugeot and Ford are currently in negotiations though, for the moment, nothing is official, Liberation cited a person close to the talks as saying.

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