Management & facts
Political advocacy tools
Our partners in parliaments, governments, and non-profit organizations need to uphold their independence and integrity. This principle is codified in Deutsche Telekom’s Code of Conduct. For this reason, donations to political institutions, parties, and political representatives are not allowed, for example. Instead, we place importance on factual communication, competence, credibility, and integrity. As a result, politicians and stakeholders feel that the information we provide is authentic and credible and can refer to this information when forming their own opinions. In Brussels, Deutsche Telekom is registered within the EU’s public Transparency Register for lobbyists. Also in Germany the company is registered in the Lobbying Register, which was introduced in 2022 by the Lobby Register Act, for the Representation of Special Interests vis-à-vis the German Bundestag and the German Government since February 28, 2022. Within the context of our collaboration efforts in associations and other bodies, we feel that we are under the obligation to comply with all ethical codes and legal provisions.
In 2022, our political advocacy work focused on the following key issues:
- Broadband build-out
- Frequency auctions
- Partnerships in the area of expansion
- Regulatory procedure
- Net neutrality
- Resilience and cyber security
- European cloud ecosystem
- Platform regulation
- Data economy
- Consumer protection
- Green ICT
- Fair Share
On the Deutsche Telekom website, under the special topic heading “Policy and Regulation”, we regularly provide information about current issues and perspectives relative to representation of interests.
Association fees – the main political advocacy outlay
Active involvement in associations is the cornerstone of our political advocacy work. Accordingly, all the various membership fees (for umbrella/trade/industry associations) account for the majority of our outlay in this area. To make our involvement transparent, an overview of the main fees paid in the past three years is provided below.
Annual total monetary contributions / donations (in EUR)
< 5 000 000*)
< 5 000 000*)
< 5 000 000*)
Largest single annual contributions (in EUR)
(Deutsche) Industrie und Handelskammer (IHK/DIHK)
2 278 611
2 608 477
Bundesverband der deutschen Industrie (BDI e.V.)
Bundesvereinigung der Deutschen Arbeitgeberverbände (BDA)
* The above figures for contributions to trade associations mean “less than 5 million euros per year” (the actual values may vary from year to year; the value given is a rounded maximum value). Deutsche Telekom does not make contributions, grant advantages or give benefits of any kind, directly or indirectly, to political parties, political movements, or trade unions or their representatives or candidates, except as required by applicable laws and regulations.Reporting against standards
Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)
- GRI 415-1 (Politische Einflussnahme)
Transparency information on lobbying expenditures
No general definition of lobbying expenditures is available to date. For this reason, we publish our lobbying expenditures in Germany in accordance with the applicable transparency requirements at the federal level (pursuant to the act on introducing a Lobbying Register for the Representation of Special Interests vis-à vis the German Bundestag and the German Government [Lobby Register Act-LobbyRG]) and in the states of Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria (pursuant to the Transparency Registration Act [TReg] in Baden-Württemberg and the Bavarian Lobby Registration Act [BayLobbyRG]), in Brussels (pursuant to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 20 May 2021 between the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission on a mandatory transparency register), and in Washington for T-Mobile US (pursuant to the Lobbying Disclosure Act [LDA]).
Our guiding principle is to respect the independence and integrity of our political interlocutors – which is why we welcome the introduction of a lobbying and transparency register at the European level and in Germany, and registered as one of the first companies (EU) and on time (in Germany on February 28, 2022).
Lobbying expenditures 2022 in accordance with applicable transparency rules
|Area covered by reporting requirements||Lobbying expenditure (2022)||Relevant transparency rule detailing legal requirements and respective definition of lobbying expenditures.|
|Deutsche Telekom AG / German Bundestag and Federal Government||2 650 000 EUR*) ||Act Introducing a Lobbying Register for the Representation of Special Interests vis-à vis the German Bundestag and the Federal Government (Lobbying Register Act – Lobbyregistergesetz) |
|Deutsche Telekom AG / State Parliament and State Government of Baden-Württemberg||65 000 EUR*) ||Transparency Register Act (Transparenzregistergesetz – TRegG) |
|Deutsche Telekom AG / Bavarian Parliament and Bavarian State Government||110 000 EUR*) ||Bavarian Lobby Register Act (BayLobbyRG) |
|Deutsche Telekom AG / European Parliament and European Commission||2 499 999 EUR*) ||Interinstitutional Agreement of 20 May 2021 between the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission on a mandatory transparency register |
|T-Mobile USA / Federal Government of the US||9 049 000 USD*) ||Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA) |
5) United States Senate Lobbying Disclosure
10) Lobbying Disclosure Act Guidance
* The different information is not directly comparable due to the applicable legal regulations in each country. To the extent that lobbying expenditures must be specified as a range according to the requirements of the respective register, the upper value of the range is specified.
Our position on broadband – investment incentives are needed
Having a high-performance, reliable and secure broadband infrastructure is the basis of success for all business sectors and is a key factor in making a business location attractive. For many years now, Deutsche Telekom has been making significant contributions in this area by investing heavily in the infrastructure for mobile internet and the fixed-line network, and especially in our fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) networks. We show more commitment than any other company to providing full-area coverage, including in rural areas.
In order to drive network expansion, network operators in Germany need investment incentives, legal and regulatory planning security, and technological freedom of action. That enables them to respond flexibly to the circumstances of enterprises and households and meet political, economic, and social requirements. Only under these preconditions can we fully harness the potential for cost-effective private network expansion using all available technologies. When it comes to areas where cost-effective broadband expansion is not possible, it is up to the public sector to ensure that white spots are eliminated by providing technology- and supplier-neutral funding programs and exercising sound judgment. Legal frameworks and regulatory practice need to actively support private-sector investment in new fiber-opticnetworks and prevent unnecessary financial burdens and red tape for the network operators investing in networks.
In view of the fact that the internet and telecommunications markets are converging rapidly, and in light of the growing market power of a few global internet players, the sector-specific regulation of telecommunications that has been pursued to date is creating more and more of an imbalance. The same laws and regulations that apply to telecommunications companies also need to apply to internet companies providing the same services. The objective here must be to create equal competitive conditions and enable fair distribution of the financial burden involved in broadband expansion.
Our position on network neutrality – the internet should stay open
As part of the EU Telecoms Package, regulations on the open internet were adopted and came into effect on April 30, 2016. The regulations particularly address permitted traffic management and transparency requirements and limit commercial product and service differentiation on the internet.
Deutsche Telekom remains committed to preserving an open internet. Content and services will continue to be available online in accordance with the best effort principle. This means that data packets are processed on the internet without preferential treatment and forwarded in the best possible way. We are continuing to expand our infrastructure so that we can cope with rapidly increasing amounts of data traffic and facilitate innovation in our network. As a result, we are satisfying our customers’ growing demands and meeting the expectations of online content and application providers, who want to be able to provide services meeting high technical-quality standards both now and in the future.
Building on the best effort internet, we are developing an innovative network architecture – 5G networks – which can better and more flexibly meet the various transmission quality requirements of specific services. We thereby fulfill business and regulatory requirements and enable innovation in the services we offer on our networks. Content is not monitored, nor do we have any influence over user or provider content. When competing with other network operators, we will also continue to market services with guaranteed quality features exclusively on a non-discriminatory basis.
Commitment to consumers
We are Europe’s leading telecommunications company in terms of market capitalization, revenue, and earnings. Against this backdrop, consumer policy issues are a high priority for us.
Our key topics:
In all these areas, we stand for a constructive and solution-oriented approach that is geared to both consumer interests and the interests of our company.
Do you have questions on this topic?Fabian Riewerts
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