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Deutsche Telekom Corruption in Slovakia?

Deutsche Telekom signed the United Nations Global Compact as a founding member and as one of the first ICT companies. We acknowledged […] and made a commitment to respect human rights, maintain appropriate working standards and take an active role in environmental protection and fighting corruption.

From Deutsche Telekom: Showing Initiative (Voluntary Commitments)

Deutsche Telekom logo - Slovak Telekom logoImagine you are a citizen living under modern liberal democracy of western type. Imagine there are two days to national election. Imagine that a de facto telecommunication monopoly closes a deal with the governmental authorities to supply an internet connection to all public schools in the country for 38 millions Euros. Moreover, price for the internet connection is up to twice as high as in the former deal, despite the fact that internet connection costs have plummeted over the last few years. This has to be a joke, right?

Wrong. Slovak Telekom (T-Com), a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom, have done just right that. Two days before election took place, Slovak Telekom (owned by Deutsche Telekom) signed the deal with the Ministry of Education of the Slovak Republic. What does that say about the corporate culture and corporate responsibility of Deutsche Telekom? What does that say about the managers at Slovak Telekom? Is that how Deutsche Telekom does business in Germany and trains Slovak Telekom’s managers to follow their lead?

Employees of the Deutsche Telekom Group must refrain from any kind of corrupt behavior. In particular, they are forbidden to illegally influence decision makers in companies, authorities or public institutions by offering, promising or granting advantages. Equally, they are forbidden to demand or accept such advantages from third parties, or to have a third party promise such advantages in the course of business.

From Slovak Telekom: Our Code of Conduct (PDF)

Deutsche Telekom Investor Relations

I am sure that Deutsche Telekom values their investor relations. I am sure Deutsche Telekom is a responsible company doing transparent business, opposite to the recent corruption scandal at another German company – Siemens, where the Siemens concern was fined by the US authorities $800 millions. Siemens also agreed to pay fines of 395 millions Euros to settle the case in Germany. I am confident that any sane investor will evaluate how Deutsche Telekom is conducting business in the post-communist countries such as Slovakia, where its subsidiary Slovak Telekom closes highly dubious (and overpriced) deal two days before national election. This non-transparent decision of Slovak Telekom’s management could affect Deutsche Telekom investor relations.

Will Deutsche Telekom take a firm step and agree to cancel the fishy deal and submit a new contract in the new transparent tender? Or will Deutsche Telekom hurt their investor relations by not taking any steps to clear up the doubts regarding possible corruption? I am not sure. What I am sure of, though, is the fact that some people will stumble upon this Deutsche Telekom Corruption in Slovakia? blog post and think twice how the company does their business.

  • Name_not_available

    BS again.

    “Moreover, price for the internet connection is up to twice as high as in the former deal, despite the fact that internet connection costs have plummeted over the last few years.”

    a) What is the price in the former deal? You take that from single rant overly repeated by media originating from one person who only said how much they paid to someone other many (5) years ago?

    b) Internet connection costs went down? Then why many people still pay the same for many years, only now they pay for optical connection, while before it was ADSL/cable and before that it was flat dial-up, but still similar amount? Oh, I take it, 56k is enough for schools – in that way it is true that they should pay less than they paid for 56k 6 years ago…

    c) It is not only internet connection – in the high school I am occasionally visiting since graduation, some 5 years ago nobody even dreamt about WiFi connection for students (remember cost of smartphones with wifi and notebooks back in those days and their proliferation not only among students – not like current iPhones/etc. and cheap netbooks). Last time I was there, there were APs on every other corridor and from what I know, they are installed and maintained by T-Com. And in the deal there are more services.

    d) Yeah, two day before election exact the time when it is possible to swing public opinion (especially in context of massive anticampaigns) and insiders and media are still working. While they could wait AFTER election and if they won, they should close the deal as if nothing happened and if they did’t, they should close the deal before new government is formed. Which (sane) (rogue) government wanting to scalp their citizens and collect tips from other side of the deal would do that 2 days before elections? Why don’t you mention that the previous deal was fixed term and about to expiry and RFT was up from winter?

    Yet DT corrupted government, government defrauded its citizens in dull season, horrible cause can be created by media interlaced with information who farted when while splitting the power in the new government.

    Get real!

    (PS: I don’t endorse many of previous government’s action and I voted against it, but these recent witch-hunts to count more and more causes of previous government, whether they make any sense at all or not, are insane.)

  • Daniel

    If you have a proper evidence regarding the (presumably same?) price in the former deal, quote it.

    Internet costs have plummeted, that’s the fact. You could have gotten broadband 3 Mbit few years ago for 30 Euros, now you can get 60 Mbit for that price, easily. If somebody is paying what they paid five years ago for the same connection, then that’s problem of not comparing multiple offers.

    Oh, Wi-Fi router is included, too? What’s the cost? Like 5 Euros, if you are buying thousands?

    Was there a proper (and transparent) tender for the deal? How many companies were invited to submit their price offers? I hear none and the deal has been signed with Slovak Telekom. BS and transparency at its best, you say?

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