Metaswitch Files Federal Antitrust Lawsuit Against Ribbon Communications.

Metaswitch has filed an antitrust action against Ribbon Communications1 that could help ensure that tens of millions of Americans have access to cost effective and reliable upgrades of their ageing fixed-line telephone networks.

Ribbon has systematically eliminated the competition. If left unchecked, Metaswitch is concerned that Ribbon will be free to raise prices for more than 700 local network operators who may have no choice but to either slow down much-needed upgrades or pass on the impact of increased costs to consumers. We are pursuing this case not just to protect Metaswitch, but because Ribbon’s unlawful conduct is harming our network operator customers who otherwise may be hindered from making fixed-line upgrades that could enhance the day-to-day lives of millions.

Do you work for one of the hundreds of local network operators trying to modernize their networks in the face of limited options and coercive pricing? If you have information that may be relevant to this case that you would like to share on a confidential basis, please contact Susannah Torpey of the law firm Winston & Strawn at +1 212-294-4690 or storpey@winston.com.

Scroll through the following sections to learn more about Metaswitch Networks’ antitrust litigation against Ribbon Communications.

Read the press release      See the complaint that Metaswitch filed

1. Ribbon Communications, Inc. is a newly combined entity formed by the merger of GENBAND Holdings Company, Sonus Networks, Inc., and various holding companies. “Ribbon” when used on this homepage and in the FAQ, refers to Ribbon Communications plus any of its predecessor entities included but not limited to Genband and Sonus.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why did Metaswitch file this lawsuit?

Metaswitch is not afraid of fair competition – it fosters innovation in order to ensure that consumers get better products at lower prices. Metaswitch is bringing this lawsuit against Ribbon Communications because it believes Ribbon’s conduct is illegal and directly harming hundreds of our network operator customers and the millions of North American consumers our customers serve.

What has Ribbon done wrong?

Metaswitch is Ribbon’s only significant remaining competitor in the U.S. and Canada that competes to transform and modernize land-line telephone networks for the use of voice over internet protocol (VoIP). As described in our complaint, Metaswitch is alleging that Ribbon has pursued a clearly articulated strategy to consolidate the industry through serial acquisitions and exclusionary conduct expressly intended to eliminate competition so that it can ultimately raise its prices to network operators.

Does Ribbon have a monopoly?

Ribbon is now the only company of any significant size left in the United States that provides maintenance services for the predominant type of legacy DMS circuit switches used in land-line networks that have not yet been modernized. Ribbon also dominates the market for the transformation of land-line networks from the use of these legacy switches to VoIP technology.

Why would it be harmful to network operators and consumers for Ribbon to have a monopoly?

Abuses of monopoly power could slow or even prevent North American consumers’ access to desperately needed land-line network upgrades and high-speed internet, particularly in rural areas where cellular service can be less reliable. If left unchecked, and permitted to further capture the network transformation market as it has the DMS switch maintenance market, Ribbon would be free to raise prices even more for more than 700 local network operators who may have no choice but to either slow down much-needed upgrades or pass on the impact of increased costs to consumers.

Why is it important that network operators make upgrades to land-lines?

There are large parts of North America, much of it rural, where communities and their citizens currently rely on decades-old, land-line telephone networks that need modernization in order to ensure the continuity of reliable service for their citizens, including for critical emergency calls to police, fire departments and 911. Millions of Americans and Canadians live in such areas. Our network operator customers are working hard to make these upgrades as efficiently and cost effectively as possible. We believe Ribbon’s illegal conduct is hindering these upgrades.

Has Ribbon spread false information about Metaswitch to customers?

As asserted in our complaint, we believe Ribbon used false representations for the purpose of spreading fear, uncertainty, and doubt, referred to by Ribbon as “FUD,” to make customers concerned that Metaswitch would not remain in the market long enough to support any products they installed for customers. We believe these representations were false and part of a broader campaign by Ribbon to eliminate Metaswitch as a competitor.

What is Metaswitch asking the court to do and when does it expect the court to decide this case?

First and foremost, we are asking the court to stop Ribbon from engaging in the alleged anticompetitive conduct so that tens of millions of Americans have access to cost effective and reliable upgrades to their aging fixed-line telephone networks. We cannot predict how long the legal process will take but we are ready to move expeditiously.

What is the status of the other Ribbon lawsuits that are pending?

Ribbon has filed five lawsuits against Metaswitch in four years and we have defended ourselves vigorously with counterclaims as appropriate including one alleging fraud. We are currently appealing the judgment in the 2014 patent case. Scorched earth litigation is one of the many ways we believe Ribbon has attempted to unlawfully acquire a monopoly.

What should I do if I have seen the type of Ribbon conduct described in the Metaswitch complaint?

If you believe you have information that may be relevant to this case which you would like to share on a confidential basis, please contact Susannah Torpey of the law firm Winston & Strawn at +1 212-294-4690 or storpey@winston.com.

About Metaswitch

Metaswitch is the world’s leading cloud native communications software company. The company develops commercial and open-source software solutions that are constructively disrupting the way that service providers build, scale, innovate and account for communication services. By working with Metaswitch, visionary service providers are realizing the full economic, operational and technology benefits of becoming cloud-based and software-centric. Metaswitch’s award-winning solutions are powering more than 1,000 service providers in today’s global, ultra-competitive and rapidly changing communications marketplace. 

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