RealTime IT News

Deutsche Telekom Merges T-Online with Club Internet

Deutsche Telekom and French media group Lagardère Wednesday merged the two companies' respective ISPs, T-Online and Club Internet.

After the deal, Lagardère becomes the second largest shareholder of T-Online International with 6.5 per cent of the authorized capital.

The two companies say they envisage international cooperation in content and publicity, subject to existing contracts held separately by the two companies.

"The partnership with Lagardère and Club Internet is a further step by Deutsche Telekom on the way to becoming a European world market provider," said Dr. Ron Sommer, chairman of Deutsche Telekom.

Sommer said the French-German cooperation underlined Deutsche Telekom's commitment to a European online partnership.

Deutsche Telekom's T-Online is Europe's largest ISP with over 4.2 million customers, while Club Internet is the second largest ISP in France with more than 320,000 users.

Wolfgang Keuntje, director of T-Online, said the partnership with Club Internet was an important step in T-Online's international strategy, following the start of T-Online Austria.

The merger brings benefits to both companies, especially to T-Online which gains a strong position in the French market which is growing at 60 per cent a year.

In return, Lagardère gains a new outlet for its content at T-Online. The French company will be signing a portal management contract for a three-year period.

The two companies also say they are looking into the possibility of forming a joint venture investment company on a 50-50 basis to develop and implement new Internet-based projects.