A Crucial Test For Germany Inc.

In the rarefied air of Germany's corporate elite, it is extremely unusual for mutsiders to reign. That is why Deutsche Telekom's choice of Ron Sommer as chief executive officer is so unusual. Sommer is the best hope of transforming the protected, state-owned monopoly into a globally competitive telecom player. He must act fast. The U.S. government has made it clear that it will not approve the proposed purchase of a 20% stake in Sprint Corp. by Deutsche Telecom and France Telecom until Germany and France open their closed telecommunications markets to foreign competition.

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