The European Commission suspects Telefónica Deutschland of failing to comply with certain agreements regarding the takeover of E-Plus in 2014. This is what makes EU commissioner Margrethe Vestager aware of competition. She has sent the German telecom company a list of objections. Telefónica Deutschland is now subject to a fine of up to 10 percent of the turnover.
Brussels gave permission for the takeover under certain conditions. One of the requirements was that Telefónica Deutschland and E-Plus would offer their 4G services for other business customers at the best possible prices. The Commission now finds that Telefónica Deutschland has tampered with the yardstick for the best prices, which disadvantaged third parties.
The European Commission has announced its suspicions in a so-called statement of objections. It is the first time that the European Commission has officially failed to honor a company’s commitments in a merger process.
Telefónica Deutschland has time until April 5 to respond to the Brussels complaints. The company says it is confident that it can remove all European competition concerns.
The Germans bought E-Plus from KPN at the time. The transaction provided the Dutch telecom company with 8.6 billion euros in cash and shares. KPN now has an interest of approximately 5 percent in its German counterpart.