T-Mobile and Virgin settle long-running dispute

Friends again

T-Mobile and Virgin Group have resolved their long-running legal fight over the future of their 50:50 joint venture Virgin Mobile.

Dogged by legal action, relations between the two companies were so bad that they were described as being "irretrievably broken down".

Now, though, the two companies have kissed and made up with both sides insisting that "disagreements of the past are well and truly behind us".

As part of the settlement, both sides have agreed to end the payment of a monthly "Marketing Support Contribution" paid by T-Mobile to Virgin Mobile. This had proved a sticking point since Virgin received the payment even if the account was inactive. Instead, Virgin Mobile will receive a share of call revenues.

Separately, it was confirmed that Virgin Group is to acquire T-Mobile's stake in the Virgin Mobile joint venture, in a move that could pave the way for a possible floatation of the mobilephoneco.

"The three organisations have settled all outstanding litigation, and established new agreements, paving the way for a new era in relations between T-Mobile and Virgin Mobile," the companies said in a statement.

Brian McBride, MD of T-Mobile UK, said: "It's also been a pleasure dealing with the Virgin team.

"Any disagreements of the past are well and truly behind us, and we all look forward to a long and mutually rewarding relationship."

This week Virgin Mobile reported that it had signed up more than half a million new customers at the end of last year, making it the most successful three months ever for the mobile telco.

Cheap texts and a bundle of other offers helped increase Virgin Mobile's customer base to more than 3.6 million punters. ®

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