Deutsche Telekom is the huge corporation that owns two-thirds of T-Mobile. It also, if you follow a chain of sub-companies, owns Origo.hu, a hugely popular Hungarian news site. Origo's editor in chief was just unceremoniously fired, after writing critically about the Hungarian government—which, incidentally, just inked a $1.5 billion broadband agreement with Deutsche Telekom. Something is rotten in the state of Hungary.
This story comes to us from our Hungarian colleagues, and it sure sounds like Deutsche Telekom is throwing its weight around to get its way. Gergő Sáling, Origo.hu's former editor-in-chief, was unceremoniously canned this week, despite having shown no performance problems.
The timing is suspect: Origo recently blew the cover off of the expensive travel habits of a government official, Janos Lázár. And the Hungarian government has been putting pressure on Magyar Telekom, Deutsche Telekom's Hungarian subsidiary, to stop badmouthing the government.
Now Origo is a skeleton crew. After Sáling's firing, a throng of Origo writers resigned in protest. And that multi-billion-dollar agreement with Deutsche Telekom is still going strong.
This puts a whole new spin on early termination fees.
Image: CEO of Deutsche Telekom Timotheus Hoettges, left, and CFO Thomas Dannenfeldt, right, are standing under the company logo at the balance news conference of the telecommunication company in Bonn, Germany, Thursday, March 6, 2014. (AP)