£13mi claim against Carphone Warehouse

OpenAir is seeking £13m financial damages from the Carphone Warehouse Group for breach of contract relating to the sale of its O2 subscriber base.
EasyAir Limited operated under the trading name of OpenAir, recognised for its excellence in technical development, became one of the fastest growing UK mobile service providers back in 2003.

After a year of high volume, high ARPU connections O2 served notice that they were not going to renew the OpenAir O2 network service provision license.

Early in 2004 Opal Telecom, part of the Carphone Warehouse Group eagerly snapped up the profitable O2 subscriber base contracting OpenAir to continue to develop the subscriber base and continue to receive a substantial percentage of the profits via a dealer agreement. The contract was to last from May 2004 for five years.

All revenues ceased to be paid to OpenAir in August 2004.

It was suggested that the Carphone Warehouses Opal Telecom removed network services from the subscriber base which OpenAir contend it was not entitled to do.

OpenAir states that having exhausted all opportunity to agree any sensible settlement they are now left with little option other than to serve the formal claim for £13 million in financial damages caused by Opal Telecom breaches of the binding contracts and will settle the matter in court.

Anthony Lloyd-Weston, Managing Director at OpenAir told Mobile Business Magazine:

“For the last three years we have had to put everything on hold, but meanwhile people have lost their jobs and livelihoods as a result of this action taken by Opal Telecom and the Carphone Warehouse. We have tried to get this resolved amicably to give our former employees something back that they deserve for building such an innovative company as OpenAir. There is an awful lot more that’s been said behind closed doors, that I can’t discuss at present, but enough talking has been done and we want to get on with our lives”

Lloyd-Weston went on to say:

“There is no counter claim and never has it been suggested that there is one. Neither has Opal Telecom offered any tangible defence to the claim made by OpenAir or the evidence presented to support the claim.”

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