VIAG Interkom Demands Refund for UMTS
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[Berlin, GERMANY] VIAG Interkom calls for the federal government to refund what it sees as an "economically unjustifiable portion" of the sum for the UMTS license. Maximilian Ardelt, CEO of the telecommunications company, said at the awards ceremony for the Arbeitsplatzinvestor-Preis in Frankfurt on Main that the UMTS billions would dramatically reduce the short-range and medium-range growth of the entire branch. As a result, even the telecommunications industry, which up until now has been a job-creating engine, would begin to stutter for a while.
In the past year VIAG Interkom was responsible for creating the most jobs of any German company, for which it received the Arbeitsplatzinvestor-Preis, a prize honoring the creation of jobs, from the Wirtschaftsclub Rhein-Main, a leading German economic association. Now following in the footsteps of MobilCom, this second cellular network concern worth billions of Deutschmarks is trying to stir up public opinion against a legally valid business transaction.
Ardelt calls for the state to, as he put it, "limit the damage to the telecommunications branch." Though it is still in the developmental phase, the giant "Mobile Multimedia" market of the future is already faced with a huge tax of 100 billion Deutschmarks. Until the actual birth of this new market, this burden will increase by 6 to 7 billion Deutschmarks yearly. Ardelt says this tax is legally disputable and a result of an auction process for the UMTS licenses aimed at maximization. Thanks to the unfruitful attempt by the federal Deutsche Telekom to force another new bidder to give in, the license price was driven to unacceptable heights which the competitors could not escape. Withdrawal from the auction would have, in the long term, amounted to going out of business.