British Telecommunications Plc had rather a good day on Friday: as well as being handed the keys to most of the best bits of the Latin American market by Telefonica de Espana SA, thereby putting AT&T Corp’s nose so far out of joint that it ended the day looking like a prize fighter, the company was claiming to have won a resounding victory over its other serious international rival, the Global One alliance of Sprint Corp, France Telecom SA and Deutsche AG in the German courts. According to the Financial Times, the Dusseldorf High Court ruled on Thursday that Global One had been in breach of European competition rules in a suit brought by the British company and its German partner Viag AG. The issue was that Global One had started trading before meeting conditions imposed on it by the European Commission, and the court ruled that Deutsche Telekom was liable for costs and damages, which could amount to tens of millions of pounds, the paper said, adding that the figure would be determined at a later date. Global One had agreed with the European Commission that it would begin providing services to multinational companies in Germany and France only once two or more licenses had been issued to competitors in those countries. Global One had to admit it began trading several months before meeting the Commission’s conditions.
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