Germany faces lawsuit on broadband monopoly

The European Commission launched a lawsuit against Germany over a law allowing Deutsche Telekom to keep rivals off its high-speed Internet networks, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report quoted EU spokesman Martin Selmayr as saying that a letter 'of formal notice' was sent to Berlin after it ignored repeated warnings not to adopt legislation that could grant Deutsche Telekom a de facto monopoly on a new broadband network.

The German parliament passed the telecommunications law, exempting Deutsche Telekom's high-speed network from regulation and demands to open up its network to competitors, at least for now, the report said.

Under legal procedures, the German government has only been given 15 days to answer the legal notice issued by the commission, the report said.

'I regret that Germany has chosen to ignore the commission's concerns about this new telecom law despite several clear warnings from the Commission,' Viviane Reding, EU commissioner in charge of telecommunications issues, was also quoted in the Associated Press report.

Germany's Economy Ministry countered that the new law creates 'a balance between the necessary strengthening of competition and the concerns of companies that are willing to invest,' the report further said.