Dataflow maintains anti-direct stance

Dataflow maintains anti-direct stance

Dataflow intends to retain its current channel strategy, despite recently losing a court action against a former employee who told Harvey Norman the distributor was going direct over the Web.

Dataflow initiated legal action in the Federal Court against Scott Goodman for an e-mail he sent to Harvey Norman. The court found that although Goodman had engaged in deceptive and misleading conduct, because it was not for commercial or trade purposes it did not breach section 52 of the Trade Practices Act.

"All the facts in the e-mail were wrong," Jeffrey Tobias, managing director of Dataflow, said yesterday. "The case was lost on a technicality rather than an issue of fact."

Goodman, who was with Dataflow from March to early May this year, sent an e-mail to 13 Harvey Norman stores and three members of the media on May 22.

In the e-mail he alleged that Dataflow was intending to bypass its traditional retail ties in favour of a direct online strategy through a company called Software Ventures that Dataflow had registered on the previous Friday.

Goodman claimed that the company would trade as e*flow, with Dataflow already registering the Internet address

Tobias totally denied this claim, saying that Software Ventures was a dormant company that had been part of the Dataflow group for the last eight years.

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