Photo: Carlos Bazan-Canabal
Yahoo could owe more than $2.7 billion in a Mexican lawsuit over a failed telephone-directory project, says Carlos Bazan-Canabal, a plaintiff in the case.Last week, Yahoo disclosed that a Mexican court had found against it in a case involving breach of contract and other claims by Worldwide Directories, its former partner—to the tune of $2.7 billion.
Yahoo, in its filing, described the judgment as “nonfinal” and said it planned to appeal.
Bazan-Canabal tells Business Insider that the judgment is nonfinal—in that not all the damages have been calculated yet, and the total could go as high as $3.5 billion.
“We believe that there are still sums to quantify,” he said.
Yahoo and Ideas Interactivas, a subsidiary of Worldwide Directories, launched an online and print Yellow Pages called Yahoo Paginas Utiles in 2003. The partnership continued to operate through 2005, when Yahoo unilaterally terminated the contract, according to the plaintiffs. At the time, the partners had an agreement to expand the deal internationally, he told Reuters on Wednesday.
Worldwide Directories has hired Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, a prominent Silicon Valley law firm.
Bazan-Canabal also denied earlier reports that he’d said he’d be wiling to settle with Yahoo for less than $2.7 billion.
“I have a judgment that favours me for $2.7 billion,” Bazan-Canabal told us. “It doesn’t make sense to engage with Yahoo. There’s been no contact with Yahoo.”
The court, he said, has not yet calculated moral damages, the rough equivalent under Mexican law of what would be called punitive damages in the American legal system.
The court also calculated damages through 2011, according to Bazan-Canabal, and those figures would need to be updated for the time when the judgment was actually collected.
And he is not currently in any conversations with Yahoo about any settlement, he said.
“We have not engaged conversations with Yahoo and have no immediate plans to do so,” Bazan-Canabal said.