• Germany edition
 
Daimler and Telekom face billion-euro loss on road toll fiasco
Photo: DPA

Daimler and Telekom face billion-euro loss on road toll fiasco

Published: 18 Jul 2011 10:24 GMT+02:00
Updated: 18 Jul 2011 10:24 GMT+02:00

The two blue-chip firms formed the road toll company Toll Collect, winning the contract to establish and run the controversial motorway billing scheme, set to start at the end of August 2003.

Technical problems meant nothing was collected until the start of January 2005, resulting in what the government has calculated as a €5.1 billion liability from loss of revenue and lateness penalties.

Toll Collect and the government have been before an arbitration panel of three judges, which according to the Financial Times Deutschland on Monday, has told the firms they will not be able to maintain their position of refusing to pay anything or admit any liability.

They have until now denied having any responsibility for the late start of the truck toll system, and have said they were not prepared to pay anything in compensation.

Insiders to the procedure have told the paper that Daimler and Telekom are pursuing a delaying tactic to avoid any financial burden for as long as possible – even though they risk paying nine percent interest a year on monies determined to be owed.

And despite the enormous sums being discussed, they have not built any compensation payments into their company financial plans, the FTD reported – such a move would be a form of admission of culpability. This means that should they strike a deal with the government or be told they have to pay the full amount demanded, the money would have to come from their profits.

The arbitration panel, chaired by the former president of the Federal Court of Justice, Günter Hirsch, has been sitting for seven years. Those involved expect a ruling to be issued in the coming months on how the panel expects the argument to be settled, with the most likely scenario seen as being an agreement between the parties rather than a verdict.

Yet Daimler and Telekom argue that there the original Toll Collect contract included a clause on limited liability, while the system they introduced was risky due to the technical innovation it involved. Yet those on the government’s side have argued that the firms had no ‘functioning risk management’ system in place, which could be regarded as gross professional misconduct and could overrule any liability limitation clause.

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

10:46 July 18, 2011 by pepsionice
I'm sure most Germans have forgotten about the whole episode and will have to be reminded by the news folks on how screwed up this toll episode became. A little reminder to those with no economic background....if they end up having to admit a loss (especially a heavy loss).....then there's a lesser tax revenue situation for the government.

I would also suggest that the next time that the government issues a possible contract like this.....the bid's will be double for companies to anticipate a possible loss.
12:47 July 18, 2011 by harcourt
I hadn't heard about this. Why hasn't german-guardian drawn our attention to the fact that Daimler and Deutsche Telekom screwed-up !!
17:43 July 18, 2011 by Englishted
@harcourt

Is it because he is back in the home/hospital/prison?
15:45 July 19, 2011 by catjones
Confiscate the trucks!
Today's headlines
Europeans descended from three tribes
The skull of a farmer from Stuttgart examined for the study. Photo: Joanna Drath, University of Tübingen

Europeans descended from three tribes

German researchers have traced the origins of modern Europeans to a migratory melting pot of three ancient tribes dating back 8,000 years. READ  

Germans return 'stolen' parts of Great Pyramid
The pyramids at Giza. Photo: DPA

Germans return 'stolen' parts of Great Pyramid

Fragments of the Great Pyramid of Giza, which were allegedly stolen by German archaeologists last year, have been returned to Egypt from Germany. But the case against those who allegedly took the samples is continuing. READ  

Oktoberfest 2014
Your guide to Munich Oktoberfest's tents
Photo: DPA

Your guide to Munich Oktoberfest's tents

There are 14 "tents" at Munich's Oktoberfest, all with their own uniqueness and theme. In the second of The Local's four-part guide to the world's biggest beer festival, we look at some of the best ones. READ  

Drunk teachers ruin school trip to Hamburg
Photo: DPA

Drunk teachers ruin school trip to Hamburg

A school trip was cancelled after just one day when two teachers got so drunk while they were supposed to be looking after pupils in Hamburg that police had to be called. READ  

Where to find the speed cameras today
Photo: DPA

Where to find the speed cameras today

Police deployed 13,000 officers across Germany on Thursday to catch speeding drivers in a so called "Blitzmarathon". Here is where the radar guns are. READ  

US WWII bomb forces 11,000 from homes
The area of the town centre evacuated. Photo: Lüneberg Stadt

US WWII bomb forces 11,000 from homes

Thousands of people in the centre of an historic town in central Germany had to leave their homes late on Wednesday evening after a 250kg bomb was found. READ  

Who is listening to Berlin's music?
Photo: DPA

Who is listening to Berlin's music?

A study by music-streaming service Spotify has revealed the global reach of Berlin-born music, with genres originating in the capital finding a loyal audience in some unlikely places. READ  

Champions League
Boateng delivers Bayern 1-0 win over Man City
Jerome Boateng with Bayern trainer Pep Guardiola on Wednesday night. Photo: DPA

Boateng delivers Bayern 1-0 win over Man City

A superb strike by Jerome Boateng with a minute remaining earned Bayern Munich a dramatic 1-0 victory against Manchester City in their opening Champions League game of the season on Wednesday. Chelsea, meanwhile, were held by Schalke. READ  

Merkel promises help for Liberia in Ebola fight
A man walks past an Ebola information mural in Monrovia, Liberia. Photo: DPA

Merkel promises help for Liberia in Ebola fight

Chancellor Angela Merkel has promised that Germany will send help to Liberia to tackle the Ebola crisis in response to a personal appeal by the country's president, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. READ  

Cabinet clamps down on child image possession
Justice Minister Heiko Maas. Photo: DPA

Cabinet clamps down on child image possession

People caught in possession of indecent images of children will face tougher prison sentences, the government announced on Wednesday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Marks & Spencer
Sponsored Article
Fashion Ladies of the Local: Win a New Autumn Look
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Oktoberfest 2014: The best and worst in dirndl fashion
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten German words you'll never want to hear again
Photo: DPA
Education
German universities tumble in global rankings
Photo: DPA
Tech
Netflix launches in Germany (in English too)
Photo: DPA
Politics
These men want to be the next mayor of Berlin
Photo: Shutterstock
Business & Money
The three types of firms hiring foreigners
Photo: DPA/ESA
Tech
VIDEO: How one German astronaut sees Earth
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Frisky couple shock Berlin commuters
Photo: Bayernpartei/DPA
Politics
Why some Bavarians want a Scottish 'Yes'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
12 things to do in Berlin for less than a latte
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,363
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd