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- Phones 4U Limited - Case Update
Phones 4U Limited - Case Update
The High Court has dismissed a claim by Phones 4U Limited, an independent mobile phone retailer, that its administration was caused by collusion by the likes of mobile giants including Vodaphone, Telefonica and Deutsche Telekom.
The company entered administration in 2014. David Kelly and Robert Moran of PwC and Paul Copley of Aldan Management are the joint administrators.
In December 2018, the company commenced proceedings claiming that various defendants engaged in anti-competitive collusion which resulted in Phones 4U going into administration. The company’s argument was essentially that the defendants had colluded to cut out the middle man, and that their decisions to stop supplying Phones 4U in 2014 were the result of unlawful co-ordination between them.
The High Court disagreed, finding that, on the facts, none of the defendants broke UK or EU competition law. The decision comes as a blow to the company’s noteholders and other creditors, whose recoveries were dependent on the outcome of the litigation.
Meredith Pickford KC of Monckton Chambers, Laura John KC of Fountain Court Chambers, David Gregory of Monckton Chambers and Daniel Schwennicke of Fountain Court Chambers (instructed by Clifford Chance) for EE Limited
Robert O'Donoghue KC and Hugo Leith of Brick Court Chambers (instructed by Covington & Burling) for the Deutsche Telekom AG
Marie Demetriou KC, David Scannell KC and David Heaton of Brick Court Chambers (instructed by Norton Rose Fulbright) for Orange SA
Ewan McQuater KC of 3 Verulam Buildings, Rob Williams KC of Monckton Chambers, Adam Kramer KC of 3 Verulam Buildings and Hannah Glover of 3 Verulam Buildings (instructed by Hogan Lovells) for Vodafone Limited and Vodafone Group Public Limited Company
Mark Hoskins KC, Sarah Abram KC, Matthew Kennedy and Aarushi Sahore of Brick Court Chambers (instructed by Mishcon de Reya and Linklaters) for Telefonica UK Limited, Telefonica, S.A. and Telefonica O2 Holdings Limited
Kenneth MacLean KC, Owain Draper, Gideon Cohen and Stephanie Wood of One Essex Court (instructed by Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan) for Phones 4U Limited (In Administration)