In 1985 France Télécom earned 620 million francs (approximately million) from Minitel.
2,000 private companies earned 289 million francs (about million) during the year; Libération earned 2.5 million francs (about 0,000) from the service in September.
It then paid back part of the sum to the companies operating Minitel servers.
The service became available in metropolitan Paris in December 1983.
in By early 1986 1.4 million terminals were connected to Minitel, with plans to distribute another million by the end of the year.
To reduce opposition from newspapers worried about competition from an electronic network, they were allowed to establish the first consumer services on Minitel.
Libération offered 24-hour online news, such as results from events at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles that occurred overnight in France.
France Télécom estimates that almost 9 million terminals—including web-enabled personal computers (Windows, Mac OS, and Linux)—had access to the network at the end of 1999, and that it was used by 25 million people (of a total population of 60 million).