January 18, 2019
Metaswitch Networks Ltd. (“Metaswitch”), a private U.K.-based company that designs, manufactures and markets cloud native communications software, has filed an antitrust lawsuit in New York federal court against a rival telecom company, Ribbon Communications Inc. (“Ribbon”). Metaswitch helps customers move from landline telephone networks to modern voice over internet protocol technology.
Metaswitch has alleged that Ribbon and two of its subsidiaries have tried to eliminate competition in the market by acquiring competitors and/or using other exclusionary tactics. Metaswitch has also alleged that after it refused to be acquired by Ribbon in 2013, Ribbon took steps to “kill” Metaswitch (in 2014, Ribbon filed a lawsuit accusing Metaswitch of infringing a patent, resulting in an award of damages to Ribbon).
Metaswitch says its lawsuit against Ribbon is aimed at protecting consumers, and that Ribbon is driving up prices indirectly by causing Metaswitch to incur expenses that could otherwise be used to fund new products. Metaswitch CEO, Martin Lund, stated in a press release that by reducing the number of competitors in the market, customers will be subject to higher prices with no reasonable alternatives.
Metaswitch is seeking treble damages, injunctive relief aimed at preventing Ribbon from continuing with its allegedly anticompetitive behaviour, expenses and attorneys’ fees.