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German Watchdog Probes Vodafone, Vantage Towers Over Radio Towers

 |  June 5, 2023

According to Reuters, Germany’s antitrust regulator is investigating whether Vodafone and Vantage Towers hindered their competitor 1&1 in terms of radio mast utilization.

The regulator initiated an assessment after receiving a complaint from 1&1, according to a release.

“We welcome the intended market entry of 1&1 as a fourth mobile network operator in Germany from a competition perspective. It is clear that to develop its own mobile phone network a company has to make high investments and take entrepreneurial risks when taking such a step. It is a key task of competition law to set fair rules of play for companies’ business practices. Powerful and dominant companies must not unfairly impede other companies. We will therefore scrutinize whether there are sound reasons for a delay in the provision of antenna locations for 1&1,” said Andreas Mundt, president of the Bundeskartellamt.

Related: Spain’s Telefonica May Enter Fiber Deal With Vodafone

In 2019, 1&1 purchased spectrum to provide mobile telephony in Germany, with the goal of becoming the country’s fourth mobile operator. Two years later, 1&1 and Vantage Towers reached a contractual agreement to share a significant number of locations throughout the country.

In 2022, there was a delay in the provision of agreed locations for 1&1’s mobile network deployment. The regulator acknowledged that this delay affected 1&1’s plans to start the deployment of their network, which is expected to become operational this year.