Deutsche Telekom exec in hot water over T-Mobile USA deal comments

Deutsche Telekom (DT) essentially rescinded comments that CTO Olivier Baujard made in which he said the giant telco is reviewing its German investment plans if its proposed $39 billion sale of T-Mobile USA to AT&T is blocked.


Speaking to Reuters, Baujard said DT is also evaluating possible backup plans if the sale of T-Mobile USA didn't receive regulatory approval, albeit that he believed the deal would eventually be approved and that the current posturing by US Department of Justice is merely a case of "hardball negotiating tactics."

However, his remarks caused DT to promptly retract the comments, and a company spokesman bluntly pointed to the fact that Baujard is not a member of the board or the management of Telekom Germany [the German operation of DT].

DT spokesman Andreas Fuchs told Reuters after the initial interview: "Mr. Baujard is not involved in the decision processes of either [Telekom Germany's board or management], and he is in particular not involved in the sale of T-Mobile or investments of Deutsche Telekom in Germany."

Responding to Baujard's viewpoint of there being no guarantee of the sale going ahead, and that DT was "thinking of what would be a Plan B, a fallback", Fuchs said: "Deutsche Telekom is convinced that the sale of T-Mobile USA is the best solution for the consumer. There is no Plan B."

During the interview with Reuters, which the news service said was recorded and conducted in the presence  of a DT press officer, the CTO referred to the declining macroeconomic outlook that was also leading DT to reconsider its capital expenditure plans. Fuchs later told Reuters that DT is not changing its plans to invest €10 billion in its fixed and mobile networks between 2010 and 2012.

For more:
- see this Reuters article

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