debitel AG is one of the largest mobile telephone services providers in Europe, offering a wide range of telecommunication products – mobile and land-line telephony as well internet services. At its peak, the business commanded a 47% market share of the mobile service provider market in Germany (its largest market) with 12.4% of the overall mobile telephone market as of 2004[update]. The company boasted over 10.2 million customers of which 8.3 million were resident in Germany.
Takeovers and mergers
In 2006 it was announced that debitel would merge with _dug telecom AG, a German telecommunications company with 430 outlets of its own which had been founded in 1993 as a mobile telephone direct sales company called ‘Dittrich und Grella’.
Including the 1100 employees of _dug, by March 2008 the merged company employed 4000 people. In October 2008 the company owned 500 outlets in Germany, marketing what are known in Germany as 'tariff-based' products under the debitel brand on behalf of network providers such as T-Mobile, E-Plus und O2. debitel also sold land-line services at this time for Deutsche Telekom's T-Home brand, Arcor, O2 DSL, Alice (a German brand owned by Telecom Italia) and Freenet.
debitel subsequently consolidated the administration of the merged companies and downsized human resources leading to the loss of 700 jobs at Talkline and the announcement that Talkline operations would close entirely by 2010.
- dugaktion.de, DUG history, Germany website quoted 27.04.2008
- ec.europa.eu, Danish company TDC A/S sells Talkline 560 mill. euros
- German news item from Elmshorn, home town of Talkline
- German press release dated 27.04.2008
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