Telefónica Deutschland Holding

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Telefónica Deutschland Holding AG

legal form AG
founding 1995
Seat Munich , GermanyGermanyGermany 
Number of employees 8590 (2019)
sales 7.4 billion euros (2019)
Branch telecommunications
As of December 31, 2019

Headquarters: Skyscraper Uptown Munich in Munich (2018)

The Telefónica Germany AG with headquarters in Munich, is a publicly traded telecommunications company . It primarily sells mobile and landline connections under the core brand O 2 . According to its own information, the group looks after more than 45 million connections, over 44 million of which are cell phone connections. This makes the company, along with Telekom Deutschland and Vodafone, one of the largest mobile network operators on the market in terms of the number of connections. The Telefónica Germany AG is majority owned by Telefónica Germany Holdings Limited , a 100 percent indirect subsidiary of Telefónica . Your share is part of the TecDAX and the MDAX .


From founding to going public

The company emerged from the mobile communications company VIAG Interkom , which was founded in 1995 . At that time, VIAG and BT Group each held 45 percent of the company's shares, while Telenor held 10 percent . The company received the license to set up a GSM network two years later. In August 2000 the company acquired one of a total of six UMTS licenses for DM 16.52 billion  . In the same year, the BT Group took over the shares of Telenor and also announced the takeover of the shares held by E.ON , VIAG's legal successor .

In 2001, the BT Group separated mobile communications from the rest of the business and called it mmO 2 . As a result, the name VIAG Interkom was changed to O 2 Germany in 2002 .

In 2006, the Spanish telephone company Telefónica took over O 2 with its subsidiaries in Germany, Great Britain and Ireland for a total of 17.7 billion pounds sterling as part of its expansion strategy in Europe . At the IFA 2007 introduced O 2 Germany 's discount brand Fonic ago. One year later from O 2 Germany the Telefónica O 2 Germany .

In 2010, the company completed the takeover of the landline and internet provider HanseNet , which had been announced a year earlier . In the same year the company acquired LTE frequencies for 1.38 billion euros . Another name change followed on April 1, 2011. The company was now called Telefónica Deutschland .

On October 30, 2012 was carried out IPO of Telefónica Germany . The Spanish parent company sold a minority stake (around 23 percent) in the company. In this context, Telefónica Deutschland Holding AG emerged from Telefónica Germany Verwaltungs GmbH through a change of legal form in September 2012 . The IPO was the largest on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange since 2007.

Since going public

In March 2013, the Telefónica Deutschland Holding AG share was included in the TecDAX. Four months later, the press reported that the company wanted to take over its competitor E-Plus . This amalgamation of the fourth and third largest mobile communications provider created Germany's largest mobile communications provider in terms of connections. The initial resistance from Carlos Slim , an important shareholder in the Dutch E-Plus parent company KPN , was overcome in August 2013. In mid-2014, the European Commission approved the sale subject to certain conditions . This included the transfer of 30 percent of the network capacity, a radio wave spectrum and certain assets. KPN received EUR 8.6 billion for the sale, of which EUR 5 billion was in funds. In February 2019, the EU Commission demanded compliance with all requirements.

According to experts, the physical network integration presented a considerable challenge after 2014. It was completed by the end of 2018. After the merger with E-Plus , Telefónica Deutschland put mobile brands to the test. While the discount brand Yourphone was sold to Drillisch in 2014 , the Simyo brand was abandoned and Blau took over its customers until the end of 2016. The end of E-Plus as a brand had been clear since 2015. Base was given up in spring 2019, existing customers were also migrated to blue .

In the frequency auction in 2015, Telefónica Deutschland invested 1.2 billion euros in additional mobile radio frequencies. In 2015, Telefónica Deutschland sold 7,700 radio sites to Telekom Deutschland . In the following year, the company sold a further 2,350 transmitter masts to a holding company of the group and then leased them.

The company's share was included in the MDAX on September 24, 2018. At the 5G frequency auction, the company acquired new frequencies in mid-2019 for an amount of 1.42 billion euros.

Company presence


The Telefónica Germany belongs to Telefónica, SA Group . In terms of sales , this is one of the ten largest telecommunications companies worldwide (as of 2019). Telefónica Deutschland Holding is majority owned by Telefónica Germany Holdings Limited (69 percent, as of 2019).

The Telefónica Germany in turn is the parent company of the Telefónica Germany GmbH & Co. OHG . Around 15 subsidiaries are affiliated with this, for example those for the call center .

Business areas

The company offers mobile and fixed network services for its private and business customers. The company also works with trading partners who handle mobile communications services for their own customers via Telefónica Deutschland . The latter include, for example, Aldi Talk , NettoKom , MediaMarkt Super Select , Mobilcom-Debitel or 1 & 1 Drillisch .

The company, which, along with Vodafone and Telekom Deutschland, is one of the three leading German network operators, generates the largest turnover with mobile communications services. These include voice and data services on a prepaid basis or by fixed contract ( postpaid ). The sale of mobile phones , tablet computers and smartwatches is also relevant . The additional products sold include, for example, insurance, virus protection applications or music and video streaming .

The company also offers DSL and landline services. Here it acts in partnership with Telekom Deutschland , which ensures access to their landline infrastructure. There are also cooperation agreements with other partners. Up until 2017, easybell offered DSL connections via the Telefónica network. The cooperation was terminated because Telefónica is gradually reducing its own fixed network infrastructure in Germany. Instead, Telefónica is leasing connections from other network operators for its own O2 DSL offer.

Two of the company's new business areas in 2018 consist of services in the field of IoT and the analysis of large amounts of data .

In July 2016, Telefónica offered its customers the first fully mobile bank account in Germany, partner is Fidor Bank . O 2 Banking now also offers an online banking website.

On April 9, 2019, Telefónica announced O 2 TV in cooperation with . O 2 TV offers the user more than 100 channels via a TV app on the television and via a smartphone app. Up to four programs can be viewed simultaneously and programs can be recorded online for up to 100 hours. Telefónica hopes to create an alternative to satellite and cable television .


The company's core brand is O 2 . Since 2002, postpaid and prepaid mobile communications products, mobile data services and Internet products have been sold in mobile communications and in the fixed network with this brand. The brand is aimed at private and business customers.

As a secondary brands are Blue , Ay Yildiz , Ortel Mobile , Fonic , netzclub and TürkeiSIM out.

Blau Mobilfunk was founded in 2005 as an independent GmbH and was taken over by the E-Plus parent company KPN in 2008 . In the summer of 2015, the previously independent company was merged with Telefónica Germany GmbH & Co. OHG , with blue retained as a brand. At the beginning of August 2016, customers of the simyo brand were transferred to blue , in spring 2019 customers of the Base brand .

Ay Yildiz is a mobile phone discounter launched by E-Plus in 2005 , which targets people with a Turkish migration background in Germany . Since the acquisition of E-Plus is one of Ay Yildiz brand family of Telefónica Germany .

Ortel Mobile was founded as a company in the Netherlands in 2005, followed by the German subsidiary Ortel Mobile GmbH in 2006 . Since then, Ortel Mobile has been offering cellular services, especially low-cost international tariffs. The target group are primarily citizens with a migration background. The KPN Group had been the majority owner of Ortel Mobile since March 2008 . Since the acquisition of E-Plus is one of Ortel Mobile also the brand family of Telefónica Germany .

The Fonic GmbH was established on 7 August, 2007. In September 2007, O 2 Germany launched its first own discount brand with this subsidiary. Initially, the SIM cards were only sold at Lidl and on the Internet. Shortly afterwards, other supermarket and drugstore chains followed. The Fonic GmbH was established in March 2016, the Telefónica Germany GmbH & Co. OHG merged the brand Fonic and brand Fonic Mobile - in the meantime over Lidl sold - be as a second brand of Telefónica Germany out.

The advertising-financed provider Netzclub was started in 2010 as a cooperation between Telefónica Deutschland and YOC AG . Customers can use a limited volume of data free of charge and in return receive advertising from various brands and manufacturers via SMS , MMS or e-mail .

TurkeySIM emerged from the joint venture between Telefónica Deutschland and Türk Telekom , which was operationally launched in August 2011 ; it was called Türk Telekom Mobile . The provider offered prepaid tariffs with which you could make cheap calls between Germany and Turkey. After the end of the cooperation between the two companies, the existing customers were transferred to TurkeySIM , a sole brand of Telefónica Deutschland, from February 1, 2017 . The brand can only be used by existing customers.

Management and staff

Markus Haas (2018)

Markus Haas has been Chairman of the Executive Board since January 1, 2017 , which consists of five men and two women (as of November 2019). Laura Abasolo García de Baquedano is Chair of the Supervisory Board . This body consists of six women and ten men (as of November 2019).

As of December 31, 2018, 8,868 employees (2017: 9,281) were employed in the companies of the Telefónica Deutschland Group . The fluctuation rate was 14.1% (2017: 17.4%).


The company's headquarters are located in Munich in the Uptown Munich skyscraper on Georg-Brauchle-Ring . It has other locations in Berlin , Bremen , Düsseldorf , Essen , Frankfurt am Main , Hamburg , Nuremberg , Potsdam , Rostock and Teltow .

Business figures

In 2018, sales were 7.3 billion euros. The average customer turnover (ARPU) in 2018 was 10.0 euros per month. Adjusted for special effects, the operating result amounted to EUR 1.9 billion. The investment rate was 13.2 percent.

Share and shareholders

The company's share is listed in the Prime Standard of the German stock exchange. It is part of the MDAX and the TecDAX.

The shareholder structure is as follows:

proportion of Shareholders
69.20% Telefónica Germany Holding Ltd.
3.18% Black Rock
3.00% T. Rowe Price
2.98% Koninklijke KPN NV
21.64% Free float

Status: November 2019

Complaints and criticism

Dispute over the brand O 2

In March 2005, O 2 warned the medical device manufacturer Weinmann , who wanted to name an oxygen device for the treatment of home ventilation patients with the name Venti-O2 . Weimann resisted and asserted that the use of the chemical symbol for oxygen cannot be claimed exclusively commercially by a mobile phone provider. An agreement was reached shortly afterwards.

Dispute over product brand "Loop"

An independent start-up entrepreneur began selling CD-ROMs and a PDF magazine for sound samples and drum loops in January 2005 under the trademark "Loop Sessions", which he registered with the DPMA . O2 issued a warning on March 8, 2005 with reference to the brand "Loop" used by it for prepaid contracts with a value in dispute of € 100,000 and asked him to transfer the brand and pay € 1,900 warning costs, of which € 400 would be then remit him. After the entrepreneur had given in on all points and had to give up his business, O2 waived the payment of the costs.

Price increase for special numbers

At the end of 2006, O 2 changed the call price for some numbers. As a result of these changes, for example, the connection prices to service services increased by almost threefold at times, without prior notice. O 2 refused extraordinary terminations , citing its terms and conditions . Consumer advice centers took the view that this was not an ancillary service, the reference to the terms and conditions was not relevant, and telephoning was one of the main services of a communications provider. Courts judge the case differently. The Munich district court confirmed the opinion of O 2 (AZ: 281 C 6003/07), the Charlottenburg district court agreed with the customer (AZ: 237 C 58/07).

Limitation of calling cards and voice chats

In March 2008 it became known that O 2 - like E-Plus and Vodafone too - significantly restricted the accessibility of voice chat lines and calling card providers (only with O 2 ). These numbers were normal landline numbers that could be called free of charge as part of landline flat rates, even when there was a high volume of calls. The limitation made it difficult for customers to bypass high connection prices for special numbers or international calls. In September 2008, O 2 partially lifted the limitation.

National roaming

As part of the company's own network expansion, so-called national roaming in the T-Mobile network was switched off by the end of 2009. In individual cases this happened before O 2 was able to secure the supply via its own network. At certain locations, customers complained of poor network reception, broken calls, unclear voice quality and dead spots . O 2 nevertheless pushed for the customer to fulfill the contract by the end of the term, even though mobile phone use at the customer site was no longer satisfactory. In September 2007, the Munich District Court sentenced Telefónica to release an affected customer from the contract.

Intransparent pricing policy

The consumer advice center North Rhine-Westphalia warned O 2 and Fonic as well as some competitors that the mobile phone providers would conceal the amount due for the end device in their advertising for mobile phone contracts including mobile phones. The company advertised with a low down payment and hid the monthly installments over the contract period in the small print . Telefónica then issued a declaration of discontinuance in 2012 .

Customers who have booked the Alice / O 2 flat rate tariff talk4free europa & more could cancel the flat rate by means of a clause in the terms and conditions , so that international calls can be made on the basis of individual billing within the minimum term. The consumer center Hamburg sued Telefònica Germany. The LG Hamburg agreed with consumers and consumer advocates. The "termination" of the tariff option disrupts the contractually stipulated balance of performance and consideration.

Customer service

On December 6, 2016, Marktcheck reported problems with the availability of Telefónica Germany's customer service due to the workload after the merger with E-Plus . According to experts, these problems had not subsided by 2017. Connect tested the hotline in 2018 and rated it as “good”.

EU roaming

With the abolition of roaming charges in the European Union since June 15, 2017, customers whose contract includes an alternative roaming option must send an SMS to O 2 in order to benefit from the roaming regulation. At the beginning of August 2017 , the VZBV criticized this as a violation of the prohibition of misleading the law against unfair competition and initiated legal action. The case was pending before the European Court of Justice in 2019 .

Cellular network quality

In the phase of the takeover of E-Plus in particular , independent tests criticized deficiencies in the network quality several times. Chip Online rated the O 2 network in the 2018 test with a grade of 2.2 (good) and praised the progress of the network expansion. However, the company remained in third of three places in Germany because coverage was weaker than that of its competitors. In 2019, O 2 was able to improve its rating in the Connect test , from “sufficient” to “good”. In a test in 2019, Computer Bild attested the best nationwide network coverage within buildings. In contrast to the country, the network in many major German cities also offers good LTE coverage.


Corporate responsibility

The company has been preparing an annual corporate responsibility report since the turn of the millennium . For the period from 2016 to 2020, there are three key areas of action: “Doing business responsibly”, “Strengthening life in the digital world” and “Protecting the environment and climate”. The company also works here with non-governmental organizations , for example with the German Children and Youth Foundation , the German Nature Conservation Union , the Federal German Working Group for Environmentally Conscious Management , the German Environmental Aid , Germanwatch and the German Children's Fund .


In 2006, O 2 sponsored the BMW Sauber F1 Team Formula 1 team . From 2004 to 2007 the company supported the Mobile Movie Award financially. In 2004 O 2 sponsored the German kayak pair Tim Wieskötter / Ronald Rauhe . From 2004 to 2005 the company also sponsored the swimmer Hannah Stockbauer . O 2 was an official partner of the German Ski Association from 2005 to 2009 .

On September 10, 2008, the O 2 World Berlin opened with a capacity of up to 17,000 visitors. It is the venue for numerous sports, music and entertainment events. It was created on an area at the Ostbahnhof Berlin . In summer 2010 the Hamburg Color Line Arena became the O 2 World Hamburg . Sponsoring the O 2 World Berlin and the O 2 World Hamburg ended June 30, 2015 after the Berlin hall was Mercedes-Benz Arena , Hamburg counterpart in Barclaycard Arena renamed.

Bundesliga Pur - Lunchtime by Sport1 broadcasts from the 35th floor of the Munich headquarters of Telefónica Deutschland, O 2 has been acting here as a sponsor for the location , a news ticker and a program section since 2019 . Also in the podcast All roads lead to fame by Joko Winterscheidt and Paul Ripke enters O 2 as a sponsor.


The company won the Red Dot Design Award for its 2018 annual report .


Web links

Commons : Telefónica Germany  - Collection of images

Individual evidence

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