VIAG Interkom Demands Refund for UMTS

[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.

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