Deutsche Telekom faces Telefonica lawsuit

Deutsche Telekom, Germany's leading telecommunications group, is now facing legal action by Telefonica, its Spanish rival, which operates the O2 brand in Germany, in the dispute regarding the release of the 'last mile' to new DSL customers, a Handelsblatt report said.

The report said the German independent telecommunications providers' association VATM has also called upon the German networks regulator Bundesnetzagentur to force the market leader to make the 'last mile' available to rivals more rapidly.

Deutsche Telekom has been accused by competitors of delaying the availability of the last mile to their customers, the report said.

The networks agency has admitted that delays are occurring, and that they have led to an unsatisfactory situation, the report further said.

The regulator has added that it is considering the possibility of imposing a penalty for breach of contract in the case of unjustified delays, according to a press source. Deutsche Telekom has rejected the claims, arguing that more connections are being made available than agreed under contract.