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The government chose not to enact coercive measures, however, stating that the regulation of the online activities of children was up to parents, not the government.The government did however enact a tax on pornographic online services.

It then paid back part of the sum to the companies operating Minitel servers.

In 1985 France Télécom earned 620 million francs (approximately $70 million) from Minitel.

A trial with 1,500 residential telephone customers began in Ille-et-Vilaine in May 1981.

The service became available in metropolitan Paris in December 1983.

In 1998, Minitel generated €832 million ($1,121 million) of revenue, of which €521 million was channelled by France Télécom to service providers.

Minitel sales in the late 1990s accounted for almost 15% of sales at La Redoute and 3 Suisses, France's biggest mail order companies.Similarly, many of those small companies floundered because of an overcrowded market or bad business practices (lack of infrastructure for online retailers).The messageries roses ("pink messages", adult chat services hosted by operators pretending to be receptive women) and other pornographic sites were also criticized for their possible use by under-age children.The main uses were banking and financial services, which benefit from Minitel's security features, and access to professional databases.France Télécom mentions, as an example of usage, that 12 million updates to personal "carte vitale" health-care cards were made through Minitel.The service was rolled out experimentally in 1978 in Brittany and throughout France in 1982 by the PTT (Postes, Télégraphes et Téléphones; divided since 1991 between France Télécom and La Poste).

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