Deutsche Telekom CEO Timotheus Hoettges (pictured) hit out at Vodafone Group’s “opportunistic” assessment of his company’s German next generation broadband network (NGN), as the fallout from Vodafone’s proposed acquisition of Liberty Global’s assets in four European markets continued.
Speaking on the company’s Q1 earnings call, Hoettges slated the UK-based operator group for making regular complaints about the quality and scale of Deutsche Telekom’s fibre rollout, and then describing it as a “dominant NGA network” in its Liberty Global proposal document.
He added it was a “very opportunistic argument, but I’m used to that.”
During the call, Hoettges fielded a barrage of questions from investors on the impact of Vodafone’s Liberty Global deal, but comparatively few on its own results.
Responding to a query on his experience of dealing with cable operations provided by Vodafone in the past, Hoettges said: “The Liberty people were always behaving as professionals, very disciplined in pricing policies and the way going forward in their markets. Vodafone was always trying to behave like a mobile cowboy, in the 90s.”
“That was our observation in the cable footprint – but I don’t know what that means in the future.”
The executive concluded he saw no reason why this deal should be approved and highlighted the need for German regulators to “have their say” in addition to EU authorities.
Hoettges’ comments follow statements made by Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao describing Deutsche Telekom’s strategy as self-serving and against consumer interest, and are the continuation of an ongoing row sparked at Mobile World Congress when the two first traded blows on Liberty.