MobilCom Gets One More Last Chance

MICHAEL PRINCE/CORBIS

MobilCom might have been a great company if it didn't get saved so often. Burdened by debt from its 3G venture, the firm faced insolvency after France Telecom stopped its funding. Then Gerhard Schröder, mindful of the elections and the 5,500 jobs at risk, announced a ?400 million lifeline. Such bailouts are notorious monetary black holes, and analysts quickly noted that MobilCom would soon need another infusion without big changes. But for two reasons, this rescue may be different. First, commercial banks are no longer playing along, as they did in 1999 when pressured to save doomed construction firm Philipp Holzmann....

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