EU threatens Germany in telecom row

31st October 2006, Comments 0 comments

31 October 2006, Brussels (dpa) - Seeking to increase pressure on Germany over a telecommunications law that could exempt Deutsche Telekom from some competition rules, the European Commission on Monday renewed its threat to take Berlin to court over the controversial issue. The company and the German government have been at loggerheads with the European Union's top regulator over whether the firm should open its new high-speed broadband network to rivals. Deutsche Telekom, Europe's biggest telecom group by

31 October 2006

Brussels (dpa) - Seeking to increase pressure on Germany over a telecommunications law that could exempt Deutsche Telekom from some competition rules, the European Commission on Monday renewed its threat to take Berlin to court over the controversial issue.

The company and the German government have been at loggerheads with the European Union's top regulator over whether the firm should open its new high-speed broadband network to rivals.

Deutsche Telekom, Europe's biggest telecom group by revenues, wants to keep exclusive access to high-speed VDSL lines for several years, a move it claims is necessary for it to retrieve investment costs.

Such monopolies, however, are illegal under EU law.

The commission, the EU's executive arm, would therefore "exercise our duty as the guardian of the treaty to challenge any law that is not compatible," a commission spokesman told reporters.

German Deputy Economy Minister Bernd Pfaffenbach said that there would be no changes to the law proposal, media reported Monday.

"The government rejects further centralisation and the creation of new bureaucracy," Pfaffenbach was quoted as saying.

The commission spokesman called on German MEPs to veto the proposal, adding: "We have serious concerns about this draft law."

Germany, which takes over the rotating EU presidency in January 2007, reportedly wants to give more power to the bloc's member states in telecoms regulation.

DPA

Subject: German news

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