Nearly three years after Microsoft took down Manchester-based reseller ITAC for unlawful grey trading in its software(MicroScope 30 January 2006), Redmond has reported more details of the February 2006 case, revealing ITAC continued to trade illegally, flouting the terms of its settlement with Microsoft.
At the time, ITAC attempted to take Microsoft to court itself for libel after being accused of grey trading, which for a time threatened to blow the concept of a ‘name and shame’ policy out of the water.
Non-disclosure agreements have prevented either party from revealing the full extent of the settlement, which ended with ITAC and its managing director, Barry Omesuh, agreeing to pay Microsoft £1m in damages.
Microsoft said ITAC not only continued to trade illegally despite having promised not to, breaching the terms of the settlement, but also did not pay the £1m owed. As a result, Microsoft has announced, it has now forced the sale of Omesuh’s assets to recover the funds.
Microsoft UK head of anti-piracy Michala Wardell said: “Some people will be aware of the ITAC case but won’t know the real story behind it. As long as the likes of Omesuh and resellers such as ITAC remain in business, the profitability of honest resellers is under threat.
“This case shows that Microsoft takes a zero tolerance approach to anyone who undermines the level playing field,” she added. “We caught ITAC trading illegally more than once which shows how determined we are to protect genuine, honest businesses from being undercut.”