Political advocacy

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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:

  • Ongoing measures to protect consumer data privacy (in online advertising, for example)
  • Improving extensive protection of minors, irrespective of the technology used, at the national and EU level
  • Improving customer service standards
  • Efforts to ensure consistent, understandable messaging in communications with our customers
  • Improving consumer protection in telecommunications (for example, when switching providers for fixed-line and mobile connections)

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.

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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. According to this, donations to political institutions, parties, and political representatives are not allowed, for example. We place importance on factual communication, competence, credibility, and integrity. As a result, politicians and stakeholders img feel that the information we provide is authentic and credible and can refer to this information when forming their own opinions. Deutsche Telekom is registered in the official transparency register for lobbyists in Brussels. Deutsche Telekom has also been listed in the Lobby Register (only available in German) since February 28, 2022 for the representation of special interests vis-à-vis the German Bundestag and German Government; this register was introduced in 2022 in accordance with the Lobby Register Act. 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 2023, our political advocacy work focused on the following key issues:

  • Fiber-optic roll-out
  • 5G expansion
  • Partnerships in the area of expansion
  • Regulatory procedure
  • Public safety/cell broadcast img
  • Net neutrality
  • Resilience and cybersecurity
  • European cloud ecosystem
  • Platform regulation
  • Data economy
  • Consumer protection
  • Green ICT
  • Fair Share

On the Deutsche Telekom website, under the special topic heading “Public and Regulatory Affairs”, 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.

Category   Institution   2021   2022   2023

Annual total monetary contributions / donations (in EUR)


Trade associations


< 5 000 000*)


< 5 000 000*)


< 5 000 000*)


Political parties







Largest single annual contributions (in EUR)


(Deutsche) Industrie und Handelskammer (IHK/DIHK)


2 278 611


2 608 477


2 908 695


Bundesverband der deutschen Industrie (BDI e.V.)


520 929


476 928


474 995


Bundesvereinigung der Deutschen Arbeitgeberverbände (BDA)


400 407


400 407


443 000


Bitkom e.V.


343 085


368 284


376 833


* 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.


Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

  • GRI 415-1 (Public Policy)

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 Introducing a Lobby Register for the Representation of Special Interests vis-à vis the German Bundestag and the Federal Government [Lobbyregistergesetz – LobbyRG]) and in the states of Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria (pursuant to the Transparency Register Act [Transparenzregistergesetz – TReg; only available in German] in Baden-Württemberg and the Bavarian Lobby Registration Act [Bayerisches Lobbyregistergesetz – BayLobbyRG; only available in German]), 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 lobby 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).

You can view the current table outlining lobbying expenses in accordance with the applicable transparency regulations here.


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 img) 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 supplier-neutral funding programs and exercising sound judgment. Legal frameworks and regulatory practice need to actively support private-sector investment in new fiber-optic img networks 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 and financial power of the dominant global players providing cloud services online, 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. 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.

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 will not be controlled, however. When competing with other network operators, we will also continue to market services with guaranteed quality features exclusively on a non-discriminatory basis.

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  • Tim Hoettges

    Foreword by Tim Höttges

    Finding solutions

    means finding the courage

    for open dialog, even beyond

    the boundaries of a company.

    Let’s all dare to be

    more transparent!

    Finding solutions means finding the courage for open dialog, even beyond the boundaries of a company. Let’s all dare to be more transparent!

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