Pressemitteilungen

29.05.2004

RegTP refuses planned 10 cents flat rate of Deutsche Telekom

VATM applauds that regulatory authority steps in in favor of competition

The German competitors have reacted positively to the decision of the regulatory authority RegTP to reject the motion of DTAG to approve the optional tariff "10 cents." The reason for the decision, according to RegTP, is the substantial risk that this tariff fall below DTAG's actual costs. DTAG had filed for RegTP approval for a new tariff that consists of an additional monthly payment of Euro 4.22, in addition to the basic charges, each call in DTAG's fixed network of 1 hour or less would be charged 10 Eurocents. In return, would be no metering of that call per minute or per second.

This offer would have lead to significant imbalances and negative effects on competition. Attractive offers of the competitors for call-by-call ("dial around") and preselection as offers for complete lines to end users by city and regional carriers would have been no longer sustainable. "We applaud that the regulatory authority has given a clear signal to rein in unfair bundled tariffs and tying by the incumbent. There tariffs harm competition and mislead customers. For many end users this tariff only makes sense if they make long calls. In practice, most calls are very short and are easily overseen in a customer's cost calculation; hence, this new tariff would quickly develop into a cost trap for customers", said Juergen Gruetzner, managing director of the VATM, the association that represents most of the competitive market in Germany.

Call forwarding, answering services, short misdirected calls would quickly cut into the "advantages" of a charge of 10 cent per call up to an hour. Tariff experts and the press have already several times raise this issue. "For a long time, we've been battling for fair billing periods, and most carriers now bill per minute or even per second to accommodate their customers. They only charge for time that a customer actually spends for a call," says Juergen Gruetzner.

In the past, DTAG has tried on various occasions to tie at the first glace attractive low connection charges with higher monthly charges to gain a competitive edge over the attractive offers made by the competitors. "We believe that also in future, DTAG will strive to lure customers with these kinds of offers. If, according to the new Telecommunications Act, the ex ante control by RegTP covering end customers charges will be restricted, it will become even more important for RegTP to keep a watchful eye on excessive tying of DTAG services that would cloud transparency of the charges in the market and harm the end user", said Juergen Gruetzner.

Kontakt

Corinna Keim
Leiterin Kommunikation und Presse
Tel.: +49 221 376 77-23
E-Mail: ck(at)vatm.de