According to prosecutors, T-Systems entered a €16 million deal to sponsor VfL Wolfsburg, which is owned by Volkswagen. In return, Volkswagen signed a contact for services from T-Systems, such as maintenance of computer systems, worth hundreds of millions of euros, the indictment said.
Two workers each from T-Systems and Volkswagen and a consultant have been charged with corruption related offences, according to the Süddeutsche Zeitung. All deny the charges, the newspaper reported.
Lawyer Björn Gehrke, representing one of the accused, told the Süddeutsche that the five had acted in “good faith” and higher-ups had been fully informed of what was going on.
A Volkswagen spokesman said the company was interested in finding out what had happened but, in principle, didn’t think it was wrong to purchase services from a football club sponsor.
The government is arguing that the employees arranged a quid-pro-quo sponsorship arrangement, which is corrupt because it is anti-competitive.
Deutsche Telekom had no immediate comment, but the scandal is said to have emerged from discoveries made in an internal company review.