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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  Xetra  >  Deutsche Telekom AG    DTE   DE0005557508

DEUTSCHE TELEKOM AG

(DTE)
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EU charges Czech mobile operators with blocking rivals

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08/07/2019 | 08:13am EDT
FILE PHOTO: European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager addresses a news conference on an antitrust case in Brussels

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - EU antitrust regulators on Wednesday charged Deutsche Telekom's mobile Czech unit, rival O2 Czech Republic and Czech telecoms infrastructure provider Cetin with restricting competition via their network sharing deal.

The move by the European Commission could make it more difficult for telecoms operators to do similar deals to share networks, seen as key to saving costs and reducing time in the face of regulatory barriers to mergers.

The European Commission said the deal, which the country's two biggest mobile operators and Cetin, then part of O2 CZ, struck in 2011 and subsequently expanded, may breach the bloc's competition rules.

The network sharing agreement now covers all mobile technologies including 4G and 85% of the Czech population.

"We have concerns that the network sharing agreement between the two major operators in Czechia reduces competition in the more densely populated areas of the country," European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

The network-sharing deal left out the country's third operator Vodafone.

The operators denied wrongdoing.

"Network sharing has undeniable benefits in the form of faster mobile internet and higher-quality coverage," CETIN, which was spun off from O2 Czech Republic in 2015, said in a statement.

O2 said network sharing was common in Europe and that the firm was prepared to allay the commission's concerns.

T-Mobile CZ also said that it strongly opposed the commission's preliminary conclusions, and that such approach could hamper development of next-generation 5G networks.

"The introduction of the much-anticipated 5G will not be possible without network sharing - given the higher costs and lower profitability of the new generation of network," Chief Executive José Perdomo Lorenzo said in a statement.

The EU competition enforcer, which opened an investigation in October 2016 and can hand out fines up to 10% of a company's global revenue, said the deal may remove the incentives for the two operators to improve their networks and services.

The companies can ask for a closed-door hearing to defend themselves.

CETIN is owned by investment group PPF of Czech investor Petr Kellner. PPF also holds a majority stake in O2 Czech Republic.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Additional reporting by Jan Lopatka; editing by Francesco Guarascio, Deepa Babington and Alexandra Hudson)

By Foo Yun Chee

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
DEUTSCHE TELEKOM AG 0.85% 15.378 Delayed Quote.3.77%
O2 CZECH REPUBLIC AS 0.00%End-of-day quote.0.00%
VODAFONE GROUP PLC -0.55% 159.52 Delayed Quote.4.33%
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Financials (EUR)
Sales 2019 79 691 M
EBIT 2019 11 371 M
Net income 2019 4 045 M
Debt 2019 74 216 M
Yield 2019 4,92%
P/E ratio 2019 17,8x
P/E ratio 2020 14,2x
EV / Sales2019 1,85x
EV / Sales2020 1,77x
Capitalization 72 930 M
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Number of Analysts 23
Average target price 16,60  €
Last Close Price 15,27  €
Spread / Highest target 27,7%
Spread / Average Target 8,67%
Spread / Lowest Target -20,8%
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Timotheus Höttges Chairman-Management Board & CEO
Ulrich Lehner Chairman-Supervisory Board
Christian P. Illek Chief Financial Officer
Claudia Nemat Head-Technology & Innovation
Michael Sommer Member-Supervisory Board
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