The paper, citing U.S. diplomatic cables obtained by Wikileaks, said that the Canadian-Russian consortium bidding for GM's European operations added 31 amendments to the deal after it was signed.
The consortium, which included Canadian car-parts maker Magna
The newspaper said that while Berlin thought the deal was settled, the consortium kept adding unacceptable demands.
It was bad enough that political considerations had entered into what was supposed to be a straightforward business deal, the paper quoted the U.S. Embassy in Berlin as saying.
Worse, the Chancellery did not seem to understand what it agreed to in the MOU it had signed with Magna and GM.
The Times cited GM insiders as saying that one of the great concerns during the period was that Russian car makers would gain access to Opel's technology and patents.
These worries, combined with GM's restructuring and a recovery in car markets, led the company to scrap the sale in November 2009, the Times' sources said.
GM, Magna and Sberbank were not immediately available for comment.
(Reporting by Brenda Goh)