Vodafone Germany’s Kabel Deutschland unit has won a ruling in a dispute with Deutsche Telekom (operating in Germany via subsidiary Telekom Deutschland) over claims the telco is overcharging for the use of its cable ducts, after Germany’s Federal Court of Justice overturned two lower tribunal rulings. Bloomberg reports that Kabel Deutschland bought Telekom’s cable network business in 2003, with the fees for use of its ducts part of the deal. After the Federal Network Agency (FNA) ruled that Telekom must reduce its charges for the use of the last mile of its network by about two-thirds in 2010, Kabel Deutschland filed the suit and said the reduction should also apply to the 2003 lease agreement. Kabel Deutschland, which was was acquired by Vodafone Germany in 2013, said it was seeking the repayment of more than EUR400 million (USD429 million) in fees it had paid the former monopoly, but in December 2014 a Frankfurt regional court confirmed a ruling by a lower court that Telekom was not overcharging or abusing its market position.
The Federal Court of Justice has now referred the case back to a panel of judges in Frankfurt to determine whether and to what extent Vodafone’s claims were founded.