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High Court Denies Digicel’s Strike Out Bid Over Ads

High Court Denies Digicel’s Strike Out Bid Over Ads
November 11
10:00 2017

 

The Suva High Court has ruled that it will proceed with the case against Digicel Fiji Limited of alleged false and misleading advertising.

This after the Master of High Court, Vishwa Datt Sharma struck out an application of Digicel Fiji Limited which sought to strike out the writ of Summons and the Statement of Claims made by Vodafone Fiji Limited.

In addition, Master Sharma ordered Digicel Fiji Limited to pay summarily assessed costs of $1,500 within 14 days to Vodafone Fiji Limited.

Digicel Fiji Limited had issued summons seeking orders to strike out the Plaintiff’s Writ of Summons and the Statement of Claim on the ground that “allegations of fraud and special damages” have not been pleaded with the “necessary particulars” as required in Law.

In 2016, Vodafone Fiji Limited had filed a Writ of Summons before Court after which the matter reached the stages of Pre-Trial conference to be held.

Vodafone Fiji Limited had made a claim against Digicel Fiji Limited for false and misleading advertising, unlawful comparative advertising or commercial disparagement.

These are all categories of conduct regulated under the Commerce Commission Decree 2010 of Fiji which also protects traders against unfair competition and unfair or deceptive practices in advertising, marketing and trade competition in Fiji.

The advertisements were made on April 28, 2016 and May 3, 2016.

Vodafone Fiji Limited took legal action against Digicel Fiji Limited after they published two newspaper advertisements allegedly having sought to compare new regulated prepaid rates of service providers in Fiji with its own rates.

Master Sharma stated that Vodafone Fiji Limited claimed for general damages in terms of unlawful comparative advertising and for breaches of the Commerce Commission Decree or sought other remedial orders.

Therefore, Master Sharma said the summon made by Digicel  Fiji Limited was rather misconceived in the above circumstances and accordingly the ground seeking striking out of the plaintiff’s claim also failed.

Vodafone Fiji Limited had submitted that the application filed by Digicel Fiji Limited should be struck out ‘with full indemnity costs or on a higher scale of costs.

The case has been adjourned to November 21, 2017.

 

Edited by Mohammed Zulfikar

Feedback:  arishma.narayan@fijisun.com.fj

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