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Blinkbox staff sue new owner

Former employees of Blinkbox Music are suing the Australian company that acquired it from Tesco, looking for damages for their dismissal after the deal.

Guvera purchased Blinkbox Music in January, giving it control of one of the UK’s biggest streaming services with almost three million registered users. But five months later Blinkbox was declared insolvent and went into administration.

Bates Wells Braithwaite, a law firm representing 80 former Blinkbox employees, told the FT it had issued a lawsuit in the UK Employment Tribunal for an estimated £10 million (€13.5m) against Guvera and two of its UK-based subsidiaries.  The firm says that when Blinkbox was sold, the employees were given a written assurance from Tesco and Guvera that they would receive redundancy payments if cuts were required.

However, the bulk of the workforce was dismissed following the acquisition “without any warning and without any notice or redundancy payments.”

Michael de Vere, who resigned as head of Guvera’s UK business in May, said he did so because he felt Blinkbox was not being adequately supported. de Vere and Guvera are involved in legal action against each other in Australia.

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