SOURCE: AscdiNatd

AscdiNatd

February 27, 2014 09:52 ET

New Ruling in Continuant v. Avaya "Customer Choice" Legal Battle Paves the Way for Jury Verdict

Statement by AscdiNatd President Joe Marion

DELRAY BEACH, FL--(Marketwired - February 27, 2014) - Federal Judge Joseph E. Irenas has this week dealt telecom giant Avaya another blow in its eight-year legal battle with independent telecom maintenance and service provider, Continuant (www.continuant.com), by denying Avaya's motions to dismiss Continuant's antitrust counterclaims.

Our organization, the Association of Service and Computer Dealers International and the North American Association of Telecommunications Dealers (AscdiNatd), is heartened by this important ruling. We have been following this case since 2006, when Avaya first filed suit against Continuant on various grounds -- since dismissed or voluntarily withdrawn -- triggering Continuant's antitrust countersuit shortly thereafter.

This latest ruling paves the way for the seated jury to decide whether Avaya's conduct toward Continuant over a period of years prior to the lawsuit could be considered anti-competitive. In announcing his decision regarding Avaya's so-called Rule 50 motion to dismiss the antitrust complaint, Judge Irenas said that the jury could find Avaya's conduct anti-competitive. In addition, the Judge said that, in his view, there is sufficient evidence for the jury to conclude that Avaya's conduct toward Continuant in the post-warranty maintenance aftermarket "could not be excused."

The ruling comes less than two months after a significant ruling on January 7, when Judge Irenas issued an order dismissing all of Avaya's claims against Continuant. That order, accompanied by a 52-page opinion, essentially made Avaya the only remaining defendant in this long legal battle.

From the beginning, AscdiNatd and its members have viewed this case as vital to the future of our industry, the businesses we serve, and the consumer. We have applauded Continuant for taking a courageous stand and fighting for the customer's right to choose a service provider rather than have the manufacturer (in this case, Avaya) dictate who will provide post-warranty maintenance.

The survival of our industry -- composed as it is of small entrepreneurial businesses as well as large corporations -- depends on free and fair competition among service providers. We are grateful to Continuant for fighting to keep competition alive in our industry. We see this case as precedent-setting and look forward to the day when the battle is done and the jury presents its verdict.

AscdiNatd is a worldwide trade association that represents IT and telecom products and services companies. AscdiNatd supports legislation that encourages free markets in products and services related to these industries.

The following files are available for download:

Contact Information