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Amdocs files NIS 14.7 million industrial espionage lawsuit

Anat Roeh
APRIL 24, 2005

Billing software giant Amdocs yesterday filed a NIS 14.7 million lawsuit against Nasdaq-traded Mer Telemanagement Solutions (MTS) and its CEO, Eytan Bar, alleging unfair competition and industrial espionage.

Amdocs alleges in the suit that customer care and billing provider MTS used illicit means to obtain information, including confidential internal documents. Amdocs also alleges the defendants used the information to approach current and potential Amdocs customers.

According to the complaint, MTS recruited a senior Amdocs employee to act as a mole inside Amdocs. The mole allegedly received cash and other benefits from MTS, while still employed by Amdocs.

The suit continues that MTS maintained direct contact during 2004 with the employee, who was responsible for Amdocs' sales in the Asia-Pacific region. He allegedly transfered confidential professional and commercial data to help MTS, using Amdocs resources to do so.

Amdocs says the actions are all the graver because its employee commited them with the full knowledge and approval of senior MTS executives, including Bar and VP marketing Yoram Nir, and sometimes at their initiative.

The lawsuit describes how suspicions of a leak of commercial secrets arose in 2004. Amdocs says that Mer Telemanagement seemed too familiar with its business matters, including bids it had placed, mostly in Southeast Asia.

Amdocs says it began an investigation employing a private detective. The investigation allegedly revealed that MTS had recruited the Amdocs employee, paid him in cash for confidential information and assigned him tasks like drafting documents on the basis of confidential information. The company maintains that records of the employee's cell phone use "indicate daily contact with a wide range of MTS executives." Amdocs says it is not improbable that MTS carried out other industrial espionage activities as well.

Amdocs attached to its suit a response that MTS's lawyer had provided, denying all the charges. The letter does say that following Amdocs' contact with MTS chair Chaim Mer alleging use of inside information, the company conducted an inquiry and found that the documents listed in Amdocs' letter to Mer "had in fact come into Yoram Nir's possession, however not through any source related in any way to Amdocs or the employee."

 

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