Telecom Industry “Consumer Choice” Lawsuit a Step Closer to Trial
TRENTON, N.J., Nov. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ –A recent court ruling has brought a hard-fought struggle for consumer choice one step closer to trial.
The case involves an ongoing dispute between Continuant, an independent provider of telecom maintenance, and AT&T descendant, Avaya. Continuant asserts that Avaya is violating U.S. antitrust laws by locking customers out of their choice of independent service providers to perform even basic maintenance.
On November 4, 2011, the Honorable Garrett E. Brown, Jr., a Federal District Judge for the District of New Jersey, dismissed with prejudice two of Avaya’s claims against Continuant regarding the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”). Judge Brown also denied as moot a procedural motion with respect to certain facts relating to Avaya’s DMCA claims.
Significantly, Judge Brown ruled that Continuant had not circumvented any of Avaya’s technological measures in accessing Avaya’s PBX Software to perform maintenance services for Avaya PBX owners, nor had Continuant trafficked in a circumvention device which allowed Avaya PBX owners to access Avaya’s PBX Software. Judge Brown left open for trial one of Avaya’s DMCA claims based on the need for more facts. Continuant regards this decision as a major vindication of its rights and is committed to carrying the remainder of the case, including its counterclaims against Avaya, to trial on the merits.
“We are pleased that the heart of Avaya’s DMCA claims has been dismissed. This is all about choice,” said Bruce Shelby, Continuant co-founder and Chief Sales Officer. “People should be able to choose who services the equipment they’ve purchased. Avaya’s behavior is clearly anti-competitive and monopolistic. A win by Continuant will be a win for all owners of Avaya telephone systems, freeing them to hire the maintenance and support vendor of their choice.”
Joe Marion, Executive Director of the North American Association of Telecommunications Dealers, says the telecom industry is closely watching this lawsuit. “We applaud Continuant for fighting for American businesses and consumers,” Marion said.
Founded in 1996, Continuant is the nation’s leading independent provider of maintenance and support services for voice and data communications systems, with an unsurpassed record of extraordinary customer service. www.continuant.com