BellSouth Scores Court Victory Against Rival

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A judge ruled in favor of BellSouth against a rival telecom carrier it claims used misrepresentations in telemarketing pitches aimed at enticing away its customers, BellSouth said yesterday.

U.S. District Court in Atlanta ordered a preliminary injunction against Macon, GA-based Access Integrated Networks, citing "widespread" and "ongoing" improper conduct by Access sales staff, BellSouth said. BellSouth has accused Access of claiming to be a BellSouth affiliate and marketing products under the BellSouth name.

Access blamed the activities on a telemarketing contractor. A federal judge previously rejected BellSouth's push for a restraining order against Access because any misrepresentations had stopped.

BellSouth decided to continue pursuing legal action against Access anyway. In the injunction, the judge ruled that Access' marketing activities had created confusion among consumers and barred Access from claiming affiliation with BellSouth.

Access has countersued BellSouth, claiming that BellSouth telemarketers told Access customers that Access was going out of business and that they should switch carriers or risk losing phone service.

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