T-Online Goes to Law Over Rival’s Ads

23 March 2001

T-Online, Germany’s dominant internet service provider (owned by the even mightier Deutsche Telekom), has instructed its lawyers to apply for an injunction against rival ISP Planet Internet for alleged infringement of competition laws.

Planet Internet, a subsidiary of another telecoms titan, KPN of the Netherlands, stands accused of advertising its ‘hotline’ internet service at a price of 2.5 pfennigs per minute "without any extra costs". This is contested by T-Online which insists that the actual charge is 12 pfennigs per minute.

Cynics within the industry believe that T-Online is less concerned at a competitor’s possible contravention of competition law than about preparing the ground for the introduction of charges for its own hotline service.

Planet Internet argues that its ads do not infringe competition law and expects the issue to be decided in its favor within the next few days.

News source: Handelsblatt (Germany)