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GoInternet.net Inc. v. SBC Communs., Inc.

Common Pleas Court of Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania

December 17, 2003, Decided

March Term 2003, no. 3348

Opinion

 [**354]  SHEPPARD JR., J., December 17, 2003 -- Before the court are the preliminary objections of defendant, SBC Communications Inc., to the amended complaint. Plaintiffs provided internet services to telephone customers of SBC and its subsidiaries in states other than Pennsylvania. Plaintiffs allege that they entered into contracts with certain defendants (the billing aggregators) 1 pursuant to which the billing aggregators were to forward to SBC and its subsidiaries the charges that their customers incurred for internet services provided by plaintiffs. Pursuant to separate contracts between SBC and the billing aggregators, SBC's subsidiaries were to bill those charges to their customers.

 [*2]  On or about February 1, 2003, SBC and/or its subsidiaries ceased billing, and refused to bill, their customers for those services provided by plaintiffs. Plaintiffs and  [**355]  SBC attempted to negotiate a resolution of their differences, but were unsuccessful. Plaintiffs then filed this action against SBC 2 alleging that:

(1) SBC tortiously interfered with plaintiffs' contracts with the billing aggregators;

(2) SBC tortiously interfered with plaintiffs' prospective business relations with plaintiffs' customers who were also customers of SBC's subsidiaries;

(3) SBC breached its contracts with the billing aggregators (to which contracts plaintiffs were third-party beneficiaries) by refusing to bill its subsidiaries'  [*3]  customers for plaintiffs' services;

(4) SBC unfairly competed with plaintiffs by advertising its own internet services to plaintiffs' customers who were also customers of SBC's subsidiaries;

(5) SBC intentionally and negligently misrepresented to plaintiffs that SBC would recommence billing plaintiffs' charges to their shared customers once the parties entered into a settlement agreement; and

(6) SBC should be equitably estopped from denying its representation that it would recommence billing plaintiffs' charges to their shared customers. 3

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2003 Pa. Dist. & Cnty. Dec. LEXIS 168 *; 64 Pa. D. & C.4th 353 **

GoInternet.net Inc. v. SBC Communications Inc.

CORE TERMS

subsidiaries, plaintiffs', customers, billing, website, advertising, aggregators, contracts, parties, personal jurisdiction, misrepresentation, promise, interfered, amended complaint, internet service, settlement, charges, tortious interference, general jurisdiction, third party, residents, internet, targeted, tortious