Having lost its attempt to have the liquidator of Buzzle removed, Apple is now locked in battle over who will pay the legal costs for the action, reports
Australian Reseller News.
The Buzzle consortium, which together owned 24 of Apple’s 68 Apple Center stores and accounted for more than 35 per cent of Apple’s revenue in Australia, went bust in the
spring of 2001. In March 2002, the first reports of
the legal imbroglio
involving Apple and Buzzle surfaced.
Apple sued for almost AUS$25 million it claimed Buzzle owed. Buzzle filed a cross-complaint against Apple for “channel stuffing,” or forcing Buzzle to acquire obsolete or slow-moving stock. The complaint suggests that Buzzle was forced to take Power Mac G4 Cubes and snow-colored iMacs, neither of which sold well. Part of the complaint also alleged that Apple didn’t offer promised credit terms for the transactions.
In the NSW (New South Wales) Supreme Court yesterday, Murray Aldridge, the attorney for liquidator Armstrong Wiley, argued that Apple should bear the cost for the case and said that there were never any grounds to support Apple’s move to have Wily removed as liquidator. (Last month the NSW Court rejected Apple’s allegation that the liquidator was biased against the company.) In addition to seeking an award for legal costs, Armstrong Wily submitted a claim for “liquidator’s costs,” seeking remuneration for the liquidator for time spent on the case, according to AR News.
Apple’s legal representative, Clayton Utz partner David Cowling, rejected the suggestion that Apple’s action against Armstrong Wily had been without substance. He also argued against the liquidator’s claim for remuneration, as distinct from legal costs, as “wrong as a matter of law,” AR News reports. The case will continue on Sept. 29.