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Deutsche Telekom pulls plugs on rivals

The German giant is terminating its interconnect contracts from Friday

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Deutsche Telekom's battles with the German regulators have escalated with the news that the company is to cancel its interconnect contracts with competitors from 1 January. The move seems to be a retaliatory strike against the regulator, which recently gave over 100 private telephone outfits access to Deutsche Telekom's network at 2.7 pfennigs (1p, or 1.5 cents) a minute. In response the German giant is playing hardball. Its contracts with the independent operators last until the end of next year, but include a clause allowing the company to cancel them a year early, and that's what it's decided to do. Deutsche Telekom says it's making the move in order to commence new negotiations with its rivals, and to 'clarify' the interconnect conditions. Alternatively, given the shortness of the notice period, you could say Deutsche Telekom is clapping a pistol to the heads of all concerned. The run-up to the New Year in thee German telecoms market should therefore prove somewhat fraught. ®

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