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Vodafone faces German probe over suspected obstruction of 1&1

Vodafone faces German probe over suspected obstruction of 1&1

BERLIN (Reuters) -Vodafone and its German subsidiary Vantage Towers are facing an antitrust investigation in Germany over concerns that it may have contributed to United Internet subsidiary 1&1’s sluggish roll-out of radio masts, the regulator said on Friday.

“Powerful and dominant companies must not unfairly impede other companies. We will therefore scrutinise whether there are sound reasons for a delay in the provision of antenna locations for 1&1,” Andreas Mundt, president of the Federal Cartel Office, said in a statement.

Vodafone said in an emailed statement to Reuters that it continued to firmly reject the accusation and would cooperate closely with the authorities.

As a neutral and independent host, we offer all our customers open access to our passive infrastructure,” a spokesperson for Vantage Towers said.

1&1 is trying to establish itself as a top telecommunications provider in Germany but has so far built only a fraction of its targeted 1,000 radio masts.

In February, it filed a complaint with the cartel office, blaming the slow progress on Vantage Towers and claiming that the company had not fulfilled its obligations as a partner in developing shared infrastructure.

(Reporting by Rachel More and Hakan Ersen, Editing by Friederike Heine)


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