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Telecoms firm sues Cisco for $1.3bn

A federal judge in Florida will let telecommunications service provider Vox2Vox Communications sue Cisco Systems for $1.3bn (£905m) for allegedly defrauding Vox2Vox by discontinuing a Cisco product without warning.

Judge James King last week denied a motion by Cisco to dismiss the Vox2Vox lawsuit. As a result, the suit will go to trial unless the companies can reach a settlement.

Vox2Vox, described in the statement as a provider of hosted telecommunications and voice over IP services, accuses Cisco of fraudulently causing it to make large investments in preparation to launch a service that used Cisco's uOne unified messaging technology and other Cisco messaging services.

Cisco gave assurances it would continue to support uOne, the law firm said, and the Vox2Vox service using it was to have been launched in May 2001. However, on 1 May, Cisco told Vox2Vox in a letter that it would leave the uOne product business, according to the statement.

The service provider alleges fraud, fraudulent inducement, negligent misrepresentation and a violation of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, saying Cisco's actions caused it to waste valuable time and resources.

Cisco dismissed the service provider's accusations.

"The suit is without merit and the amount preposterous, and we are comfortable with the facts," said Cisco spokesman Steve Langdon.

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