Volkswagen and Deutsche Telekom in scandalous procurement / football affair (no wives involved..)

This scandal in Germany manages to cut across big business, football and procurement...

Several employees of telecommunications giant Deutsche Telekom and carmaker Volkswagen are being investigated on suspicion of corruption linked to a sponsorship contract for the soccer team VfL Wolfsburg. The probe, first reported by the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, is looking at the possibility that Telekom executives offered to extend their sponsorship of Wolfsburg football club, if Volkswagen, the team's owner, agreed to new contracts worth millions of euros.

Apparently, this sort of agreement is illegal in Germany although I’m not clear that is true elsewhere in the world.  (Reciprocal trading is an interesting topic which we may come back to at some point soon).   Investigators are looking into the activities of two former managers and a consultant at Telekom subsidiary T-Systems, as well as two Volkswagen purchasing staff.  Last week, eight offices and houses were searched by the investigating authorities, including the headquarters of the Wolfsburg club.

The Wolfsburg team is having a pretty bad year generally, having recently fired their English manager, Steve McLaren, and they’re currently down amongst the relegation candidates in Germany's premier soccer league, the Bundesliga. Losing their sponsorship deal would be another blow..

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