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AOL Registers Complaint Against Deutsche Telekom Sunday Flat Rate

[Berlin] AOL Germany has confirmed to germany.internet.com that a complaint has been submitted to the Regulatory Authority for Post and Telecommunications (RegTP) against the new "XXL" tariff of the Deutsche Telekom AG in Bonn.

According to this new pricing model, ISDN users pay an additional 15 Marks (7.24 USD) a month to have unlimited Internet access on Sundays and public holidays. All local calls are also included in this amount. "Users of the "XXL" tariff are only known to the Deutsche Telekom daughter company T-Online," criticized the press speaker of AOL Germany, Alexander Adler, in an interview with germany.internet.com. This means that AOL is not able to make these same customers a similar Internet access tariff offer.

AOL concludes that the Deutsche Telekom does not allow other online services the same competitive chances with this tariff. The Deutsche Telekom's 79 Mark (38 USD) full flat rate also harms competition, Adler went on to comment. Above a use of 40 hours, the tariff is no longer economically viable for the company, which means the Deutsche Telekom must laterally subsidize this offer. However the RegTP is unfortunately not responsible for such matters, said Adler.

AOL has already obtained a single restraining order from the regional court in Cologne forbidding several advertising statements concerning the "T-Online Eco" tariff which comes into force from June 1. T-Online is no longer allowed to claim that the "Eco tariff will dramatically reduce prices," resulting in a saving of 40 percent.

The Deutsche Telekom is also employing legal means to fight the battle against the competition. Only last Thursday, AOL was forced by the Deutsche Telekom to pay a penalty fee of 200,000 Marks (96,400 USD) because the service insisted on dubbing itself the "premier online service," despite an existing restraining order.