Vodafone court success

Vodafone court success, by Vanda Carson - 21st February 2004
(Credit: News Interactive

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.

The 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.

The case centred on a 10-year contractual agreement in which Mobile Innovations would sign up new customers for Vodafone.

Mobile 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.

It was awarded a payout by the NSW Supreme Court in March last year, but yesterday's decision substantially reduced this.

The 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".

Vodafone has been ordered to pay $2.5 million to Mobile Innovations, plus an undetermined amount to cover under-used equipment, office space and redundancies.

This has been estimated at less than $3.4 million by Mobile Innovations.

This is much less than the $14.2 million Vodafone was earlier ordered to pay.

Mobile Innovations sells mobile phones via call centres and had 129,000 customers under management at June 30, 2003.

In the late 1990s, it was signing up to 10,000 customers a month.

The 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.

Mobile Innovations is considering an appeal.


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Vodafone Australia

Mobile Innovations