Plans to sell off shares in Germany’s incumbent telecoms operator Deutsche Telekom (DT) are still under consideration by the government, writes Reuters. A finance ministry document seen by the news agency outlines plans to reduce government holdings in a number of companies, including DT, Deutsche Post and Deutsche Bahn. The document, signed by Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, says a sale of the DT stake should be ‘carefully examined’. The Federal Republic owns a 14.3% stake in DT, which operates under the brand Telekom Deutschland in its domestic market, while a further 17.4% is held via state-owned development bank KfW Bankengruppe. According to Reuters, the government’s direct and indirect stake is worth over EUR17 billion (USD21.1 billion).
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in December last year Germany’s Monopolies Commission published a report on competition in the telecoms market in which it recommended the government sell its stake in DT. The independent advisory group said that the state’s shareholding presents ‘possible conflicts of interest arising from the simultaneous role of owner and regulator,’ adding that the proceeds from privatisation could be used to fund broadband expansion. Two months later it was reported that KfW had invited banks to make proposals for a share placement, although preparations were said to be at an early stage.