It was some 30 years ago, in the early 1980s, and French car manufacturer Renault had international ambitions, particularly toward the large U.S. market. By 1983, Renault had purchased a controlling stake in American Motors Corporation (AMC) and jointly the first product, the Renault Alliance, was produced. Despite some initial success overall sales were disappointing. By 1987, Renault gave up on the United States and sold its stake in AMC to Chrysler. This American adventure is estimated as having cost Renault $750 million.

In 1996, in a completely different industry, the British Telecom (BT) Group saw potential in the, geographically close, Dutch market. Initially, it formed a 50/50 joint venture with the Nederlandse ...

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