EU clears D.Telekom/DaimlerChrysler road toll JV


BRUSSELS, April 30 (Reuters) - Deutsche Telekom AG and DaimlerChrysler AG's joint venture for an electronic road toll system in Germany won conditional approval on Wednesday from the European Commission.

Under a contract with the German government, a satellite-based system made by the companies will use the Global Position System (GPS) to record the time and distance of truck trips in Germany.

Trucks weighing more than 12 tonnes will have to pay road tolls of about 15 cents per kilometre in tolls.

The Commission said it was troubled that equipment would be used by the companies for a second purpose -- to compete in an emerging market which allows companies to keep track of their trucks and stay in touch with them. It also allows others to watch traffic flow.

The Commission said it feared "the transaction would lead to a dominant position of DaimlerChrysler" in that market. The firms agreed not to use their equipment for "telematics," as the second function is called, until an independent company is created to sell access on a non-discriminatory basis.

The Commission said the company "will be open to other shareholders and not controlled" by DaimlerChrysler or Deutsche Telecom. It said that met its concerns.



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