• Germany's news in English

Deutsche Telekom and VW probed for corruption

The Local · 15 Feb 2011, 10:47

Published: 15 Feb 2011 10:47 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Deutshe Telekom managers allegedly tried extending its sponsorship of VW-owned Bundesliga football club VfL Wolfsburg in exchange for hundreds of millions in extra commissions from the carmaker, daily Süddeutsche Zeitung reported.

Such an agreement between the two companies would be illegal, according to the paper.

Two former managers and a former consultant for Deutsche Telekom subsidiary T-Systems, along with VW purchasing department employees are under investigation.

The offices of current and former managers and employees at both companies have already been searched in four cities, prosecutors confirmed, refusing to reveal more details.

But sources told Süddeutsche Zeitung that offices at VfL Wolfsburg were also searched.

A manager at the Bonn-based Deutsche Telekom reportedly instigated the investigation after he discovered “irregularities” at T-Systems, which provides a number of telephone and internet services to large businesses such as VW.

A T-Systems employee was forced to leave the company in autumn of 2010 due to internal suspicions. The company subsequently notified prosecutors, the paper reported.

The telecommunications company strictly divides customer acquisition and sponsoring activities to avoid conflicts of interest.

Story continues below…

Meanwhile VW said it would “completely” support the investigation.

Though no employees at VfL Wolfsburg have been targeted by investigators, the probe comes at an inconvenient time. The team is fighting to keep its place in the first division and recently fired its coach.

The Local/ka

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

11:21 February 15, 2011 by ukpunk1
Nothing new here. Large corporations has always had corrupt business practices in one form or another.
11:30 February 15, 2011 by auniquecorn
Not true, Look at Enron
12:16 February 15, 2011 by catjones
The weekly Egyptian, sorry, I mean weekly German corruption report.
Today's headlines
Outrage over ruling on 'brutal' gang rape of teen girl
The now convicted suspects, sitting in court in Hamburg. Photo: DPA.

A 14-year-old girl was gang-raped and left partially clothed and unconscious in freezing temperatures. Now prosecutors are appealing the sentences for the young men found guilty, most of whom will not set foot in jail.

Dozens of Turkish diplomats apply for asylum in Germany
Demonstrators holding a giant Turkish flag protest against the attempted coup in Istanbul in July. Photo: DPA.

Since the failed putsch attempt in Turkey in July, Germany has received 35 asylum applications from people with Turkish diplomatic passports, the Interior Ministry confirmed on Wednesday.

Hertha Berlin fan club criticised for 'anti-gay banner'
Hertha BSC beat FC Cologne 2-1. Photo: DPA

A 50 metre fan banner apparently mocking the idea of gay adoption has overshadowed Hertha BSC's win in the Bundesliga.

Germany stalls Chinese takeover of tech firm Aixtron
Aixtron headquarters in Herzogenrath. Photo: DPA

The German government on Monday said it had withdrawn approval for a Chinese firm to acquire Aixtron, a supplier to the semiconductor industry, amid growing unease over Chinese investment in German companies.

Politicians call for tough sentences for 'killer clowns'
File photo: DPA.

Now that the so-called 'killer clown' craze has spread from the US to Germany, elected officials are drawing a hard line against such "pranks", with some threatening offenders with jail time of up to a year.

Nearly one in ten Germans are severely disabled
Photo: DPA

New figures reveal that 9.3 percent of the German population last year were considered severely disabled.

The Local List
Germany's top 10 most surreal sites to visit
The Upside-Down House, in Mecklenburg–Western Pomerania. Photo: Olaf Meister / Wikimedia Commons

From upside-down houses on Baltic islands to a fairy-tale castle near the Austrian border, Germany is a treasure trove of the extraordinary.

Bavarian critics back Merkel for Chancellor again
Photo: DPA

The Christian Social Union (CSU) have long delayed backing Angela Merkel as their candidate for Chancellor in next year's general election. But now key leaders are supporting her publicly.

Four taken to hospital after hotel toilet bursts into flames
File photo: DPA.

Four guests at a Nuremberg hotel were taken to hospital due to smoke inhalation early Monday morning after a toilet there burst into flames.

Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German towns, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd