Wednesday 17 January 2018

Motorola fails in bid to have €138m claim against it thrown out by High Court

Tim Healy

TELECOM company Motorola has failed in a bid to have a €138m claim against it over the provision of broadband services in Ireland thrown out by the High Court.

Motorola Ltd is being sued by the Imagine Communications Group (ICG) over the alleged breach of agreements related to the planned roll out of an end-to-end broadband network in Ireland using wireless "Wi-Max" technology.

Today, Mr Justice Brian McGovern dismissed Motorola's bid to have the case against it struck out.

IBB Internet Services Ltd, Irish Broadband Internet Services Ltd (trading as Imagine Networks, and ICG), all with addresses at Barrow Street, Dublin, have brought the action against Motorola Ltd, with registered offices at Basingstoke, Hampshire, England. The first two companies are wholly owned subsidiaries of ICG.

Motorola rejects the allegations against it and says that it had abided by its contract.

In a preliminary application to have the action dismissed, Motorola claimed ICG failed to comply with a court order made by Mr Justice Frank Clarke, after he struck out a previous statement of claim by ICG, to provide proper particulars of the loss claimed (by ICG).

Motorola also claimed the action was an abuse of process and bound to fail. ICG argued the case should be allowed proceed.

In his ruling, Mr Justice McGovern said that "in my view the statement of claim meets the requirements set out in the judgment of Mr Justice Clarke."

The case as set out by the ICG did not amount to an abuse of process, he also said.

In the action, it is claimed the ICG companies contracted with Motorola in 2009 for it to provide an end-to-end broadband network nationwide in Ireland, using Wi-Max technology. There were significant failures by the defendant in meeting its contractual obligations, resulting in substantial losses to date and into the future, it was claimed.

ICG also claims that delays in the roll out of the network gave rise to financial problems for Imagine and losses because of a failure to connect consumers to the internet or because of poor connectivity.

The main proceedings are expected to be heard by the court at a later date.

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