Music Nations Network sues over alleged breach of agreements

The Sheffield-based company has sued Dublin-based Illuminata Media amongst others

Music Nations Network has taken legal proceedings over alleged breach of agreements. Photograph: iStock

Music Nations Network has taken legal proceedings over alleged breach of agreements. Photograph: iStock

 

Music Nations Network, which owns and operates channels on YouTube on which it publishes music videos, has taken legal proceedings over alleged breach of agreements, including for provision of a range of services.

Sheffield-based Music Nations Network Ltd (MNN) has sued Illuminata Media Ltd, with an address at Dublin 2; three Amsterdam based companies – Illuminata Holdings BV, Zoom.In BV and Zoomin.In Group BV; and Swedish-based Modern Times Group MTG AB;

Kelley Smith BL, for Modern Times Group, told the Commercial Court on Friday there was no cause of action made out against her client.

MNN’s proceedings concern various agreements of June 2015, including a multichannel network partner agreement, a participation and shareholders agreement and other agreements referred to as the Illuminata Agreement and the Zoomin agreement.

The Commercial Court also heard MNN has taken proceedings in other jurisdictions.

Its Irish proceedings include claims it had paid some US$343,585 fees to Illuminata Media Ltd for services but the value of the services provided amounted to about US$25,000.

It also claims it had transferred class C shares representing 32.5 per cent of its equity to Zoomin.In Group BV in exchange for “minimal services of little or no value to the plaintiff”.

MNN says it is a small company and the alleged actions of the defendants have left it depleted of future revenue streams and resources.

On Friday, Mr Justice Brian McGovern refused an application by Bernard Dunleavy SC, for MNN, to fast-track the case in the Commercial Court.

The judge said he was not satisfied the evidence established the case met the minimum €1 million value threshold required for admission to the Commercial Court.

His decision means the case will proceed through the ordinary High Court list.

Threshold

Mr Dunleavy had earlier argued the value of the case did meet the threshold for reasons including, when the 32.5 per cent share transfer was made in 2015, the company was valued at more than €8 million.

An offer by Zoom.In BV in 2016 to buy all the shares valued MNN on an “enterprise value” basis at some US$10.5 million and meant the earlier 32.5 per cent equity transfer had a value well above the €1 million threshold, counsel argued.

Brian O’Moore SC, for the Illuminata and Zoomin defendants, opposed the case being fast-tracked on grounds it did not meet the value threshold and alleged culpable delay in bringing it.

His side contended MNN was making much less money than it used to, there was no direct evidence concerning the value of the shares in 2015 and the historic value of the shares was not relevant to the reliefs sought, counsel said.

Ms Smith, for Modern Times Group, adopted a neutral position concerning whether the case should be fast-tracked but said there was no cause of action against her client.