A Heyday For Telecom Upstarts In Europe

Fledgling carriers are swiping the monopolies' customers

It's the kind of get-rich-quick story you don't often hear in Europe. Two brothers and a friend turned a couple of family-owned electronics stores in Cologne and Munich into an alternative phone company four years ago. On Apr. 22, they took Drillisch public, selling a third of the company on Germany's Neuer Markt for $28.7 million. The three partners, all in their 30s, pocketed $11.4 million and are pouring the rest into new gear to go on the attack against giant Deutsche Telekom.

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