EU lawsuit expected by end of week

27 Jun 2007

The European Union (EU) will file a lawsuit against Germany in the next couple of days for failing to force incumbent telco Deutsche Telekom (DT) to open its EUR3 billion (USD4 billion) 50Mbps VDSL network to competitors. The regulatory arm of the 27-nation EU, the European Commission (EC), is to go to Europe’s High Court to challenge Germany’s telecoms law. European Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding has complained about the protection from competition DT enjoys on its new network, and has been threatening Berlin with legal action for around a year. ‘The Commission is keen to ensure that next generation networks can be deployed and made accessible in a consistent and transparent manner across Europe,’ she said, adding, ‘It is vital that we ensure effective competition and the legal certainty necessary for all market players to invest in new products and services that will benefit consumers.’ DT, which is 32%-owned by the government, has said it may halt spending on the network unless it is guaranteed exclusive access long enough to recoup investments.

Germany, Deutsche Telekom (DT)