German airline Lufthansa on Thursday signed a deal with the Italian government for a 41-percent minority share in the long-struggling ITA Airways, formerly Alitalia, the Associated Press reported. The deal calls for investments of 575 million euros in capital increases, 325 million euros from Lufthansa and the rest from the Italian Finance Ministry, providing capital for growth. Lufthansa will also have the option of buying the remaining shares at a later date.
The German economy was in recession in early 2023 after household spending in Europe's economic engine finally succumbed to the pressure of high inflation, Reuters reported. Gross domestic product fell by 0.3% in the first quarter of the year when adjusted for price and calendar effects, a second estimate from the statistics office showed on Thursday. This follows a decline of 0.5% in the fourth quarter of 2022. A recession is commonly defined as two successive quarters of contraction.
Complaints from consumers about banks and other financial firms in Germany rose by a fifth last year, official data shows, as regulators flex their muscles to shore up trust in the sector, Reuters reported. BaFin, Germany's financial watchdog, has been increasing its focus on consumer protection in the wake of the collapse of Wirecard, the blue-chip payment company that folded in an accounting scandal.
German technology and stock photography company EyeEm has reportedly filed for bankruptcy and is insolvent, PetaPixel reported. The company originally set itself apart from competitors through its innovative use of artificial intelligence. But Business Insider in Germany reports that it has filed for bankruptcy, the latest in a string of issues that have plagued the company for the last several years. EyeEm attempted to restructure itself internally in 2020, which resulted in the company’s two founders leaving the business.
Deutsche Telekom now holds a majority in T-Mobile U.S., the chief executive of the German telecoms company said on Wednesday, Reuters reported. The company reached a majority stake in T-Mobile U.S late Tuesday, CEO Tim Höttges said at the company's annual general meeting. "We have the majority and are the largest shareholder of the world's most valuable telecommunications company - T-Mobile U.S.," he said. Since 2013, the value of T-Mobile U.S. has increased by 153 billion euros ($167.44 billion).
The German arm of EY, one of the world's Big Four accounting firms, has been fined 500,000 euros ($544,630) after acting as the auditor for collapsed payments company Wirecard and barred from auditing certain kinds of companies for two years, ABC News reported. Germany's APAS accounting oversight body said it imposed the fine for breach of professional duty in auditing Wirecard from 2016-18. It said the decision can be appealed in court, and while it bars the auditor from taking on new companies “of public interest,” it does not prevent it from servicing existing clients.