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27.04.2004 – 19:34

American Chamber of Commerce in Germany (AmCham Germany)

Germany's new Telco Act will hurt Foreign investors (will be distributed simultaneously in the United States)

Berlin (ots)  - This week will decide whether Germany is ready for
the Broadband world: Politicians and officials will apply the
finishing touches to the new Telecommunications Act. Negotiations
between Germany's upper and lower houses have entered their last
phase, and key points requested by Deutsche Telekom's competition are
being abandoned by key politicians. Telekom has evidently succeeded
in winning over the German Government for its cause, to prevent
provisions that would be uncomfortable for the local champion.
Early in April, for example, Deutsche Telekom's chairman of the
board, Kai-Uwe Ricke, met with the CDU led Prime Minister of Hesse,
Roland Koch. Insiders report that after Mr. Ricke threatened to
transfer thousands of jobs out Darmstadt in Hessen, he received
assurances that Mr. Koch would support Deutsche Telekom's political
interests in the final negotiations to the telecommunications law.
This effectively leaves the CDU divided facing a pro-Deutsche Telekom
Social Democratic Party (SPD), under the leadership of Chancellor
Gerhard Schröder.
"This is simply one more example of Germany's stone age thinking.
Instead of seeking to encourage competition and grow the market for
all players, Germany's leaders are protecting their national
champion. This will only hasten the exodus of foreign investment to
Germany, that has already begun," said James Ryan Anderson, Manager
Government Relations from the American Chamber of Commerce in Berlin.
Competition still hasn't given up hope for winning support for its
key points, although the prospects look dim at the moment.  Most
importantly, the competition seeks the right to buy
telecommunications services from the Deutsche Telekom and then after
adding value added products to resale these to the general public.
This "resale" clause is the only way to increase the number of
services and products on the market, competitors content. 90 % of all
Germans connecting to the internet using a fast speed internet
connections, or Digital Subscriber Lines (DSL) are customers of the
Deutsche Telekom.
"If Germany wants to grow its telecommunications industry and
generate new jobs, they can only look to more competition," commented
Mr. Anderson.  Deutsche Telekom's competitors also demand the legal
right to initiate a market abuse case against unfair practices. "If
the monopolist can use their market power to shut out the
competition, then these competitors must have a way to fight back. A
legal right to challenge abusive competition is only fair," said Mr.
Anderson. Germany is renown for a tightly woven marketplace, with
companies being large stakeholders in one another as to effectively
guard the German market from foreigners. With the continuing opening
of European markets and greater globalisation, Germany's political
leadership has turned to outright protection of its national
champions in saving jobs. At the same time, the level of U.S. direct
foreign investment to Germany as a percentage of direct foreign
investment in Europe has been decreasing over the last few years.
With 3,000 members, AmCham Germany is the largest bilateral economic
organization in Europe. AmCham Germany's goals include strengthening
German-American economic relations and promoting Germany as an
investment location. The chamber also serves as a link to investors
in the United States.
ots Original Text: American Chamber of Commerce in Germany
Internet : http://www.presseportal.de
Contact person:
James Ryan Anderson 
Manager Government Relations 
Charlottenstr. 42 
10117 Berlin 
Germany 
(t) +49 (0)30 288 78 92 4 
(f) +49 (0)30 288 78 92 9 
(e) jranderson@amcham.de

Original-Content von: American Chamber of Commerce in Germany (AmCham Germany), übermittelt durch news aktuell