Deutsche Telekom launched a strongly worded attack on UK regulator Ofcom’s proposal for a legal separation of BT from its Openreach local networks arm.
The German operator, which holds a 12 per cent stake in BT, said: “We fail to see clear evidence that would justify such an extreme intervention, considering its impact on domestic and international property rights.”
The comments were in a submission to Ofcom’s Digital Communications Review consultation, and were reported by the Financial Times.
“There is good reason no other major economy has considered what you are proposing — it won’t work,” it added.
Deutsche Telekom acquired its stake as part of its £12.5 billion sale of EE, the country’s largest operator, to BT, and there has been speculation that the German operator might be mulling a full takeover.
Ofcom announced last week that it is proceeding with a formal notification to the European Commission about its separation plans for BT.
Ofcom’s plans are “questionable to Deutsche Telekom as a significant investor in the UK market”, added the German operator.
It also lodged a warning about the repercussions of the Ofcom decision. “The undertaking of the Digital Communications Review to separate BT and Openreach further challenges our positive view on the UK market. From an international trade perspective, the current DCR concept of Openreach could amount to a creeping expropriation of BT Group and its investors.”