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AOL slams Deutche Telekom Net access foul play

ISP demands EC action to stop DT using monopoly position to control e-commerce

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AOL Europe wants the European Commission to end anti-competitive practices by Deutsche Telekom (DT), the former state-monopoly telecoms operator in Germany. In a strongly worded statement, the leading Internet access company alleges that DT is "abusing its dominant position in the German telephony market to weaken competition for internet access. "DT's abusive conduct includes discrimination in the provision and pricing of Internet-related services, and predatory pricing -- attempting to undercut competition by effectively operating at a loss," it says. In particular, AOL Europe maintains that DT is attempting to establish its subsidiary T-OnLine (TOL) to be the gatekeeper for all e-commerce in Germany". Andreas Schmidt, president and CEO of AOL Europe, said: "There are important principles at stake here about the rights of consumers to choose a service that's becoming increasingly important in all our lives. "This will only come about if action is taken to prevent former state monopoly telcos from using their inherited market power to diminish competition in this critical economic sector." AOL Europe says it is taking this action as part of a broader strategy to open up European Internet markets and remove obstacles to their growth. ® See also AOL Europe demands flat-rate fee for Net connections

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