Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #251 Update on German Corporate Control American Media

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MP3 One Seg­ment

1. As the title indi­cates, this broad­cast updates a series pro­duced over the last cou­ple of years. This mate­r­i­al should be eval­u­at­ed against the back­ground of the oth­er broad­casts in this series.

2. High­light­ing the incur­sion of Deutsche Telekom into the Amer­i­can telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions mar­ket. Deutsche Telekom’s influ­ence on the Inter­net is of para­mount impor­tance. One of the most impor­tant tools for access­ing Inter­net con­tent fig­ures to be mobile tele­phones. It is impor­tant to bear in mind that Deutsche Telekom is con­trolled by the Ger­man Gov­ern­ment, which owns more than 50% of its shares! (The exact fig­ure is put at between 56 and 58%, depend­ing on the source.)

3. This pro­gram begins by high­light­ing a study that con­cludes that the Unit­ed States (the tra­di­tion­al high-tech­nol­o­gy leader) will find itself years behind in “M‑commerce” and “M‑technology.” (Finan­cial Times; 8/17/2000; p. 16.)

4. If this fore­cast turns out to be accu­rate, it will place Amer­i­can com­pa­nies at a com­pet­i­tive dis­ad­van­tage with regard to mobile inter­net access. Next, the pro­gram sets forth DT’s lat­est acqui­si­tion in the Amer­i­can wire­less mar­ket — Pow­er­tel, based pri­mar­i­ly in the south­ern U.S. (The Wall Street Jour­nal; 8/28/2000; p. A‑3.)

5. The acqui­si­tion of Pow­er­tel is seen as com­plet­ing DT’s pro­ject­ed net­work in the Unit­ed States. (Idem.)

6. Much of the pro­gram cen­ters on the bat­tle with­in the U.S. gov­ern­ment over the impend­ing DT pur­chas­es in the Unit­ed States. A num­ber of U.S. sen­a­tors have backed leg­is­la­tion oppos­ing the Deutsche Telekom acqui­si­tions. (Finan­cial Times; 9/5/2000; p.4.)

7. Deutsche Telekom cleared an impor­tant hur­dle when the Jus­tice Depart­ment allowed a key dead­line to pass with­out oppos­ing the acqui­si­tion of Voic­eS­tream on antitrust grounds. (The New York Times; 9/8/2000; p. C21.)

8. The Clin­ton admin­is­tra­tion also aid­ed the cause of DT when it asked the FBI to tone down its con­gres­sion­al tes­ti­mo­ny against the pur­chase of Voic­eS­tream. (The Wall Street Jour­nal; 9/8/2000; p. A‑8.)

9. Next, the broad­cast high­lights an action by the Ger­man gov­ern­ment that forces Deutsche Telekom to low­er the tie-in charges the firm assess­es com­peti­tors. This move is seen as improv­ing the chances for approval of the DT acqui­si­tions in the U.S. (The Wall Street Jour­nal; 9/12/2000; p. A‑23.)

10. The same Ger­man reg­u­la­to­ry body may oblige DT to low­er the inter­net fees charged to Medi­aWays GmBH. If enact­ed, this will ben­e­fit Medi­aWays’ par­ent firm Tele­fon­i­ca (and Ber­tels­mann, which has pre­ferred con­tent sta­tus on the Tele­fon­i­ca-owned Lycos por­tal.) (The Wall Street Jour­nal; 9/18/2000; p. A‑26.)

11. A sig­nif­i­cant hur­dle to Deutsche Telekom’s pur­chase of Voic­eS­tream and Pow­er­tel was cleared, when Sen­ate Major­i­ty Leader Trent Lott dropped his oppo­si­tion to the deals. (The Wall Street Jour­nal; 9/27/2000; p. A‑23.)

12. Deutsche Telekom’s prof­its have increased 4‑fold, large­ly as a result of its recent pur­chas­es. (The San Jose Mer­cury News; 8/30/2000; p. 5C.)

13. It should be remem­bered that these acqui­si­tions have been made using DT’s sig­nif­i­cant­ly over-val­ued stock.

14. Deutsche Telekom is eye­ing expan­sion into East­ern Europe and the for­mer Sovi­et Union, a “drang nach osten” not unlike that attempt­ed by the Wehrma­cht in World War II. (The San Jose Mer­cury News; 8/29/2000; p. 6C.)

15. The dis­cus­sion con­cludes with analy­sis of con­tin­ued secre­cy sur­round­ing the Okla­homa City bomb­ing, an inci­dent that high­lights the poten­tial nation­al secu­ri­ty con­sid­er­a­tions sur­round­ing the pur­chase of Amer­i­can telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions firms by out­fits con­trolled by for­eign gov­ern­ments. (The San Fran­cis­co Exam­in­er; 8/30/2000; p.B10.) It should be not­ed that there is a direct con­nec­tion between the Ger­man gov­ern­ment and the Okla­homa City bomb­ing.

(Record­ed on 10/1/2000.)

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