French telco Vivendi has announced that it has won the latest round in a long-running battle with Deutsche Telekom and Poland’s Elektrim over ownership of Polish mobile phone operator Polska Telefonia Cyfrowa (which offers services under the Era brand). In a statement, Vivendi said a Warsaw court had rejected Deutsche Telekom and Elektrim’s request to uphold a 2004 ruling recognising their control of PTC, which is Poland’s third-largest cellco by subscribers. Vivendi said the court decision, which has not yet been made public, was a ‘significant victory’. Deutsche Telekom plans to appeal, company spokesman Andreas Leigers told AFP. ‘The decision is not final,’ he said.
In 1999, Vivendi invested in PTC via a Vivendi-Elektrim joint venture, ET/Telco. In 2004, however, an Austrian arbitration tribunal faulted this transaction and ordered that the shares be reassigned to Elektrim. In 2006, Deutsche Telekom exercised an option to acquire Elektrim’s 48% stake in PTC, taking its total share to 97%. The two sides have slugged it out in the courts in several countries as Vivendi seeks to have its stake in PTC recognised.