court success, by Vanda Carson - 21st February 2004
VODAFONE'S Australian subsidiary
has won the latest round in a long-running court
battle with its chief mobile phone reseller, Mobile
Innovations, over new customer commissions.
NSW Court of Appeal yesterday overturned a $14.2
million award to Mobile Innovations and ordered
the reseller to pay part of Vodafone's costs.
case centred on a 10-year contractual agreement
in which Mobile Innovations would sign up new
customers for Vodafone.
Innovations began legal action in September 2001,
claiming Vodafone breached the agreement by reducing
its customer acquisition targets from 4000 customers
a month to zero for certain areas.
was awarded a payout by the NSW Supreme Court
in March last year, but yesterday's decision substantially
court said the result was a "substantial"
success for Vodafone. They said Mobile Innovations
had had "some success in the proceedings
overall, but much less than its claims".
has been ordered to pay $2.5 million to Mobile
Innovations, plus an undetermined amount to cover
under-used equipment, office space and redundancies.
has been estimated at less than $3.4 million by
is much less than the $14.2 million Vodafone was
earlier ordered to pay.
Innovations sells mobile phones via call centres
and had 129,000 customers under management at
June 30, 2003.
the late 1990s, it was signing up to 10,000 customers
court also ordered Mobile Innovations to pay 80
per cent of Vodafone's appeal costs. Vodafone
must pay a quarter of Mobile Innovations' much
larger costs for the drawn-out original case.
Innovations is considering an appeal.