Court overturns approval of Telekom, EWE fibre joint venture

24 Sep 2021

The approval of the creation of a fibre-optic joint venture between telecoms operators Deutsche Telekom (DT) and EWE has been overturned by the Dusseldorf Higher Regional Court, reports Heise Online. In March 2019 Telekom signed an agreement with regional operator EWE to establish a 50/50 joint venture known as Glasfaser Nordwest to connect 1.5 million homes and businesses to fibre in northwest Germany, including Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia and Bremen. The Federal Cartel Office (Bundeskartellamt) approved the joint venture in December 2019, after the pair submitted a list of proposed commitments and concessions to pave the way for regulatory clearance. However, this approval has now been overturned by the Dusseldorf Higher Regional Court, following complaints by Vodafone and Deutsche Glasfaser. The decision is expected to be appealed by Telekom and EWE, with Glasfaser Nordwest continuing its expansion work as planned. EWE and Telekom intend to invest EUR2 billion in the joint venture over a period of around ten years.