Deutsche Telekom could be fined by EU

12 Dec 2006

German incumbent telco Deutsche Telekom (DT) is preparing to be clobbered with a fine of up to EUR100 million (USD131.9 million) by the European Commission, Brussels is accusing DT’s T-Mobile unit of overcharging on incoming international calls. It also blames Vodafone Germany, and UK operators Vodafone and O2 (a unit of Spanish giant Telefónica) of the same customer abuse, between 1997 and 2003. The firms could potentially be fined 10% of their turnover, but in practice a figure this high is unlikely. All intend to appeal, saying the fines are a political move engineered by EU Telecoms Commissioner Vivene Reding, designed to strengthen her case for the imposition of international roaming-charge price caps. The whole affair is rather embarrassing to the present EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes, who was an O2 board member between 2001 and 2004, and has had to exclude herself from the inquiry.