VAR Wins Damages in Case Against Cisco

A VAR has won a lwsuit against Cisco Systems and been awarded $6 million in damages in a case that has attarcted wide channel interest because of its ramifications on existing agreements between resellers and vendors.
CRN's Channel Web site reports that a jury found that Cisco cut out solution provider Infra-Comm out of a registered deal in favor of another VAR, a move that Infra-Comm claimed hurt its business Cisco could appeal the jury verdict. But the wider channel issue here is whether the unanimous civil jury verdict sets the stage for channel partners to have a larger say in how reseller agreements with vendors are structured and, if necessary, terminated. The fact that a channel partner came out on top in this one episode does not signify a lasting trend, but it is an unusual outcome in a long history of business disputes between VARs and their vendors over the contracts that bind the two together. It also puts a whole new spin on the concept of channel conflict, with the obvious question being why how any vendor could allow its relationship with a channel partner to deteriorate to the level this one did.

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