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Vodafone, Vantage Towers facing antitrust investigation in Germany

Vodafone and its German subsidiary Vantage Towers are facing an antitrust investigation in Germany over concerns that it may have contributed to United Internet subsidiary 1&1’s sluggish roll-out of radio masts, the regulator said on Friday.

“Powerful and dominant companies must not unfairly impede other companies. We will therefore scrutinise whether there are sound reasons for a delay in the provision of antenna locations for 1&1,” Andreas Mundt, president of the Federal Cartel Office, said in a statement.

Vodafone said in an emailed statement to Reuters that it continued to firmly reject the accusation and would cooperate closely with the authorities.

“As a neutral and independent host, we offer all our customers open access to our passive infrastructure,” a spokesperson for Vantage Towers said.

1&1 is trying to establish itself as a top telecommunications provider in Germany but has so far built only a fraction of its targeted 1,000 radio masts.

In February, it filed a complaint with the cartel office, blaming the slow progress on Vantage Towers and claiming that the company had not fulfilled its obligations as a partner in developing shared infrastructure. Reuters

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