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Former Blinkbox employees go legal against Guvera over streaming service’s collapse

By | Published on Thursday 8 October 2015

Blinkbox Music

Nearly 100 former employees of defunct streaming service Blinkbox have filed a class action lawsuit via the UK Employment Tribunal against Guvera. The Australian company acquired the music side of the digital content platform from Tesco back in January as part of its plan to launch into the UK market, but then promptly shut it down in June.

A statement from law firm Bates Wells Braithwaite, which is representing many of the former employees, claims that “after the acquisition [by Guvera], the Blinkbox music service was taken from solvency (with a reported £3.5 million in the bank) to insolvency within five months. In this time, the business defaulted on substantial debts, including debts owed to a number of key creditors such as large music industry companies. At the point of the acquisition the employees received a written assurance from Tesco and Guvera UK that they would receive redundancy payments if cut backs were required. This agreement was not honoured”.

Bates Wells Braithwaite Partner Paul Jennings added: “Nearly 100 staff were dismissed without any warning and without any notice or redundancy payments. Many of the employees are still owed wages. For a large number of these people, including those with families and mortgages, this had a devastating impact”.

Suggesting that other legal action could as yet emerge in relation to the Blinkbox collapse, the lawyer went on: “We anticipate that there will be other claims arising from this situation. Aside from the appalling way in which these employees were treated, at the heart of this case is the data of two to three million users of the Blinkbox music service. We have no doubt that, as the case develops and the evidence emerges, customers and investors will want to understand precisely what occurred”.