GERMAN CARTEL OFFICE PROBES TELEKOM’S INVESTMENT IN BETA RESEARCH
The Federal German Cartel Office, Bundeskartellamt, has launched an intensified investigation into Deutsche Telekom’s plan to acquire 51 per cent in Beta Research, Kirch Group’s d-box technology subsidiary.
In a move that reflects its strong concerns, the Bonn-based authority has decided that the regular four-week probe enters a second stage, which could take up to four months. After long hesitation, both companies officially registered their shareholding transaction at the Cartel Office late last month.
Industry observers believe that the chances for the plan to get unrestricted approval are low, based on the fact that Telekom still holds a near monopoly in the cable market, while at the same time Kirch Group controls with its controversial d-box the access and encryption technology for digital pay-TV broadcasting in Germany.