2022, November 15
Titan Dealer Management Solutions Pty Ltd (Titan) confirms that it has recently expanded its Federal Court claim against Pentana Solutions Pty Ltd (Pentana).
Titan alleges that Pentana has engaged in mis-use of market power, and that it has engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct by making various representations to dealerships.
Specifically, Titan’s claim alleges that:
- Pentana has asserted that the term of the dealership’s contract is renewed or extended for a period of 3 years whenever a customer signs a proposal quotation or purchase order, for any work to be performed under a master licence agreement, including minor upgrades to the DMS and maintenance work or when additional dealership franchises are included under the contract.
- When notified that a customer was proposing to switch to an alternative DMS provider, Pentana has insisted that the customer pay the whole amount of the remaining fees asserted to be due under their contract for the balance of the term of the contract (as most recently asserted to have been renewed or extended) if they choose to terminate the contract.
- Pentana has made false assertions that customers have breached their contracts with Pentana where customers have allowed Titan access to the customer’s own data.
- Pentana has threatened to suspend customers’ access to Pentana’s DMS, including access to their own data.
- Pentana has threatened dealerships with breach of copyright.
- Even where a contract has been validly terminated, Pentana has sought to prevent customers from extracting their own data from the Pentana DMS, being data that is required by the customer to begin effectively using an alternative DMS product.
- Pentana has offered targeted discounts to existing customers of Pentana to prevent or deter them from switching to Titan’s DMS products.
For example, Titan alleges that Pentana has told multiple dealership groups that they are required to pay large amounts, sometimes well over $100,000, to terminate their contracts with Pentana.
Titan alleges that Pentana’s conduct has had the effect of substantially lessening competition in the DMS market by:
- deterring dealers from switching from Pentana to other DMS providers;
- deterring competing DMS providers from supplying to customers of Pentana; and
- deterring entry into the DMS Market by reducing the addressable market for any new provider of DMS products.
Titan is seeking an injunction against Pentana to stop the alleged conduct, as well as damages and legal costs.
Titan is interested to hear from dealerships that have faced similar issues with Pentana. If your dealership has experienced any conduct of a similar nature, we encourage you to make direct contact with Titan’s Managing Director, Matthew Kroll, at email@example.com.
Titan is unable to provide any further comment while the matter is before the Court.