Germany Promises to Drop Interest in Deutsche Telekom
WASHINGTON, Sept. 28 -- Deutsche Telekom has taken another step in its attempt to quell US objections to its merger with VoiceStream Wireless, the United States' only national wireless provider using the global wireless standard (GSM) -- the world's most widely used standard. The German government has promised to relinquish its direct interest in Deutsche Telekom, a stake that has drawn criticism from US lawmakers who are concerned about the company's proposed purchase of the Bellevue, Wash.-based company that offers digital, wireless communications services.
The US Congress has brought up concerns that such a merger would jeopardize US national security and fair competition. US law prevents foreign telecommunications companies that are more than 25 percent government-owned from acquiring US companies unless the US Federal Communications Commission concludes that the deal is in the public interest.
Deutsche Telekom has already invested $5 billion in VoiceStream Wireless in exchange for VoiceStream preferred stock. The German government currently holds a 43.2 percent direct stake in Deutsche Telekom.
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