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GTE MOBILNET SAYS RULING REVERSED BY TEXAS COURT, FAVORING GTE’S DEFENSE

ATLANTA-GTE Mobilnet announced the Texas First Court of Appeals unanimously reversed a 1994 verdict against GTE Mobilnet South Texas L.P. obtained by two Houston-based cellular agents who were dissatisfied with 1989 commission agreements.

GTE Mobilnet originally was accused of violating a “most favored nations clause” because it paid one cellular sales agent a higher commission than another.

Texas’ State Appeals Court reversed a $6.76 million judgment and found that GTE Mobilnet had not committed fraud, nor breached an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, nor violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act in dealing with the agents.

Mobilnet said the only remaining issue in the case is related to the interpretation of the agent contract and an alleged breach of that contract. The company reported that the appeals court reversed the trial verdict against GTE Mobilnet on this claim, agreed with the company’s interpretation of the agreement and remanded that portion of the case to the trial court for further proceedings.

The case began in 1992 after two GTE Mobilnet agents-Telecell Cellular and Feingersh Young Interests Inc.-complained about their commissions and promotional opportunities being offered to other agents. During the trial, GTE’s counterclaim that the agents had improperly used GTE confidential information, was struck. The court also excluded evidence showing GTE Mobilnet’s good faith effort to respond to the agents’ concerns. The appellate court ruled that the trial court had erred when it struck the counterclaim and excluded evidence, Mobilnet said.

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