German government should sell Deutsche Post, Telekom stakes: advisor

BONN, Germany Mon Dec 16, 2013 10:03am EST

The logo of Deutsche Telekom AG is seen on top of the company's headquarter in Bonn May 24, 2012. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

The logo of Deutsche Telekom AG is seen on top of the company's headquarter in Bonn May 24, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Wolfgang Rattay

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BONN, Germany (Reuters) - The German government should consider selling its stakes in Deutsche Telekom (DTEGn.DE) and Deutsche Post (DPWGn.DE) to avoid conflicts of interest, an independent advisory group said on Monday.

The monopolies commission said in a report that conflict arises because the state owns stakes in the companies but also has to keep an eye on them to ensure fair competition.

The German state owns almost 32 percent of Deutsche Telekom and around 21 percent of Deutsche Post. The commission said that the Deutsche Post stake offered no real chance to exercise influence at the company and should therefore be sold.

Any proceeds from a sale could be used for investment in expanding broadband services across the country, it added.

The finance ministry declined to comment on the report.

Separately, the country's network agency said on Monday that German cable companies, such as Kabel Deutschland (VOD.L) and Unitymedia Kabel BW (LBTYA.O), are taking market share from incumbent Deutsche Telekom in the market for broadband connections.

By mid-2013, around 4.8 million customers received broadband via a cable TV company, equivalent to a 17 percent market share, up from 4.4 million at the end of 2012, the agency said.

The market share of Deutsche Telekom in the broadband market has declined 2 percentage points over the last two years and stood at 44 percent in mid-2013, the agency added.

(Reporting by Nikola Rotscheroth; additional reporting by Klaus-Peter Senger; writing by Victoria Bryan; editing by Keiron Henderson)

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