The Death Of Europe's Cartels

Coddled industries open up at last

When phone deregulation hit Germany on Jan. 1, things went wild at tiny, Frankfurt-based TelePassport. The company, which offers discount phone services under new rules allowing competition with Deutsche Telekom, signed up more than 19,000 customers in 20 days--and it won't even start advertising until February. Its 32-year-old founder quickly sold a 22.5% stake to an investor and plans to take the company public in the next few years. "We had expected a lot of interest, but this is way above our plan," says marketing director Volker Isenmann.

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