United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
HONORABLE RICHARD A. JONES UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff MetroPCS Georgia,
LLC's (“MetroPCS”) Motion for Preliminary
Injunction. Dkt. # 9. No Defendant has filed any opposition
or otherwise responded to MetroPCS' Motion. For the
reasons that follow, the Court GRANTS
MetroPCS' Motion for Preliminary Injunction.
is a wireless telephone carrier with a national network and
brand, which sells wireless personal communications services
to its customers, including voice communications, wireless
internet services, ringtones, SMS texting, instant messaging,
and other wireless phone and data services. Dkt. # 11, ¶
2. MetroPCS focuses on offering “unlimited”
pay-in-advance, prepaid plans. Id. It relies on its
dealers and subdealers to market and sell MetroPCS-packaged
mobile wireless telephones, data modems, and accessories to
users of MetroPCS's service, and to provide customer
service. Id. at ¶¶ 2, 6.
July 2018, Defendant Metro Dealer Inc. (“Metro
Dealer”) was a MetroPCS subdealer, operating through
MetroPCS' Master Dealer, DMW GA, Inc.
(“DMW”). Dkt. # 7 at ¶ 1; Dkt. # 10, Ex. A.
In October 2017, Metro Dealer and DMW entered into an
Exclusive Subdealer's Agreement to Comply With Dealer
Agreement (“Subdealer Agreement”), with an
effective date of October 12, 2017. Dkt. # 10, Exs. A, B. The
Subdealer Agreement required Metro Dealer (along with
“Affiliated Persons” and “Affiliated
Entities”) to comply with DMW's Exclusive Indirect
Dealer Agreement with MetroPCS effective as of September 18,
2017 (“Dealer Agreement”), which Metro Dealer
acknowledged having received, read, and understood. Dkt. #
10, Ex. A at ¶¶ 1, 8. Defendant Jad Dea signed this
Subdealer Agreement for Metro Dealer. Id.
Subdealer Agreement specifically provided that Metro Dealer
“shall comply with all terms and conditions of the
Dealer Agreement, including but not limited to . . . the
covenant not to compete (Section 16.7).” Dkt. # 10, Ex.
A at ¶ 1. Paragraph 16.7 of the Dealer Agreement, in
turn, provided that the dealer would not sell wireless
services in competition with MetroPCS or solicit, divert, or
attempt to divert MetroPCS's customers for a period of
six months following termination of its agreement, within two
miles of any of the storefronts in which it had operated as a
MetroPCS dealer. Dkt. # 10, Ex. B at ¶ 16.7.
Specifically, Paragraph 16.7 provided:
Dealer covenants and agrees that during the Term of this
Agreement and for a period of at least six (6) months
following any termination or expiration of this Agreement,
Dealers shall not, and will cause its Affiliated Persons and
Affiliated Entities, not to directly or indirectly (including
by licensing) engage or participate in, or acquire, manage,
operate, control or participate in the management, operation
or control of, either alone or jointly, any entity that
engages in the sale, resale or distribution of any wireless
telephone or wireless internet data service including,
without limitation, any other wireless phone, or wireless
internet service, or service plan that offers unlimited local
and/or long distance calls and/or unlimited wireless internet
service for a flat price, within a two (2) mile radius of
Dealer's MetroPCS Storefront Locations.
Id. Paragraph 16.7 also provided that if the dealer
“breaches this warranty and covenant, then, in addition
to any other legal or equitable remedy that MetroPCS may
have, the post-termination of this warranty covenant will be
extended for one (1) day for each day during which the
Dealer's breach was ongoing.” Id.
2.4 of the Dealer Agreement also contained a six-month
All customers are owned by MetroPCS and not by Dealer. During
the term of this Agreement and for a period of six (6) months
after termination of this Agreement (whether voluntary or
involuntary, with or without cause), Dealer, its principals,
owners, partners, members, shareholders, officers, directors,
employees, agents (“Affiliated Persons”) and any
entity in which an Affiliated Person owns an interest and/or
any successor entity to Dealer (“Affiliated
Entity”) shall not at any time (i) request any MetroPCS
customer to curtail or cancel its business with MetroPCS, or
(ii) otherwise solicit, divert or attempt to divert any such
MetroPCS customer from patronizing MetroPCS.
Dkt. # 10, Ex. B at ¶ 2.4.
Subdealer Agreement further provided that MetroPCS was
“a third-party beneficiary” of the Subdealer
Agreement, and that it “may take any equitable or legal
action required to enforce its provisions and the terms and
conditions of the Dealer Agreement.” Dkt. # 10, Ex. A
at ¶ 5.
alleges that on or before July 2018, Metro Dealer breached
the Subdealer Agreement, prompting DMW and MetroPCS to
jointly provide a Notice of Termination of the Subdealer
Agreement for cause by letter dated July 13, 2018, effective
August 15, 2018. Dkt. # 7 at ¶ 15; Dkt. # 11 at ¶
8. Soon after termination, MetroPCS became aware that
Defendants were selling wireless services from the former
MetroPCS store for Tracfone Wireless, a competitor of
MetroPCS. Id. at ¶ 9. After serving discovery
on Tracfone, MetroPCS discovered that on September 7, 2018,
Defendant Jad Dea, Aaron Dea, and Richard Dea incorporated a
new company - “Mobile USA Inc.” - with its
principal place of business at the same address of the former
MetroPCS store. Id. at ¶ 6, Ex. E. Defendant
Mobile USA then applied to TracFone to operate as a dealer
from this location, and was approved. Id. at Ex. G.
This record also lists the principal email address of Mobile
Inc. as email@example.com. Id.
September 21, 2018, Richard Dea incorporated another entity,
Mobile USA Dealer Inc., that allegedly entered a
“confidential subdealer license agreement” with
Mobile USA to operate the store. Dkt. # 10, ¶ 17; Exs.
D, F. When MetroPCS questioned “Mobile USA Dealer,
Inc.” in November 2018, the representative, Shelly
Lawrence, claimed that the store was being operated by