The US$170 billion mega merger between Germany's Deutsche Telekom and Italy's Telecom Italia is not being greeted with unanimous applause. It also has a way to go. Threatening to go to court, France Telecom has angrily accused the Germans of reneging on a mutual agreement not to negotiate with a competitor. France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom are equal partners in Atlas, an alliance designed to provide communications services to multinational customers. Atlas, in turn, is a partner with U.S. Sprint in Global One, an international partnership with the same aim. European Union's watchdog commission now starts a lengthy procedure to investigate whether the deal between the Germans and the Italians breaches its anti-trust rules. What's more, although the partners are well established in Spain, France, and Austria as well as on their home turf, cultural clashes could turn the merged companies into a bunch of incompatible fiefdoms.