Legal battle kicks off between UK distributors

A public spat between UK games distributors Gem and 20:20 has exploded into a legal battle, it emerged today, as Caudwell-owned 20:20 reacted to allegations that it is poised to open up a High Street chain of videogames stores across the UK.

A letter leaked to UK trade newspaper MCV from 20:20 legal chief Steven Lloyd to Gem sales director Chris Peacock revealed: "It has been brought to my attention that representatives of Gem have been informing game retailers that 20:20 intends to open a chain of game retail outlets in the United Kingdom."

But Lloyd argues that 20:20 has no such plans, insisting "this statement is completely false," and has commenced a filing for 'Malicious Falsehood' against its distribution rival.

Harlow-based Gem Distribution, the exclusive distributor to independent videogame stores for the Microsoft Xbox, Take-Two and Sega, among others, is determined to fight its corner and denies ever making any claims that 20:20 Games has plans to open a retail chain, and is reportedly taking legal advice of its own.

Gem managing director Paul Donnelly hit back in MCV that it was "fair" to question 20:20's videogaming plans. "We don't think 20:20 would go into retail. Why should [it]? [It is] a distributor, but [its] parent company is already in retail. In fact, [it] owns one of the most successful mobile phone retailers in the UK. So I think it's fair to wonder whether that part of the group might want to be in games too."

News source: Read more @ gamesindustry.biz

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