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CEDIA Expo Fight Over New Control4 Gear

By David Richards | Wednesday | 23/06/2010

Just hours before the CEDIA Expo starts in Melbourne automation company Control4 has found themselves embroiled in a row over the launch of several new products. Compounding this is claims that the US Company have been shopping the brand around to several distributors in Australia for at least seven months.

On one stand is the existing Control4 distributor Convergent Technologies, on another stand is Advance Audio Australia, who takes over distribution of the Control4 product range in November and will feature several of the new Control4 products, according to Nick Libertone CEO of Convergent Technologies, who is also claiming that he has been given no reason for his dumping.

"I only found out last week that Control4 executives will be showing new Control4products on the Advance Audio Australia stand. I am angry about this. My lawyers have told me that Control4 are in breach of their distributor contract but there is not much I can do about it because the contract between Control4 and my Company is based on US law and for me to sue I have to lodge an action in the USA. Control4 know this".

According to Joseph Riediger, a director of AAA, Nick Libertone is making a "rod for his own back by complaining". 

"Control4 have dumped him for a reason and I am sure that he knows. This is not the first time that he has been dumped by a major automation vendor. Crestron did it to him some years ago. Control4 have been shopping their business for some time in Australia, Amber Technology and others were all in discussions with them up to seven months ago. I have not been told why he has been dumped".

"All of the current model Control4 stock we will have on our stand has been purchased from Convergent Technologies. We have spent over $35K on stock recently. I don't know what Nick is going on about, he can't help himself, he has been dumped and he has been dumped for a reason, it could be poor service, poor distribution across Australia, I don't know but I am sure he knows".

He added, "There may have been a lot of support for Nick and Convergent Technologies but on the other hand I have had a lot of calls supporting our appointment because they are fed up of bad service or lack of support from Convergent Technologies. If Nick wants to pick up another IP automation brand he should think twice about whinging, remember he is the one who has been dumped by two automation Companies, and that is not good" said Riediger.

"We are now investing in taking over the Control4 business in Australia. We have purchased new warehouses and we are offering Convergent Technologies staff employment if they are laid off. We have already spent over $100K during the past few weeks setting up resources," added Riediger.

During the past week ChannelNews has approached Control4 to comment on this issue. They have refused,  It is now expected that they will make a comment later today on the CEDIA Expo show floor.

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