The Basque cable operator Euskaltel, not the team that is, has been sentenced to pay former partner Orange 222 million euros in damages, www.eitb.com reports.
A regional court in the Basque Country, the Tribunal Superior de Justicia del País Vasco (TSJPV), validated a three-year-old decision by the International Court of Arbitration that sentenced Euskaltel to pay France's Orange operator the huge sum in damages over the pair's mobile partnership termination.
In 2006, Euskaltel and Orange, or Amena as it was known back then, decided to split up, and both companies claimed the right to existing customers. Orange felt Euskaltel broke the contract by "stealing" customers, and has now won through. Euskaltel is likely to appeal the verdict.
Exactly how this will affect the team's future, which is in jeopardy beyond the current year, is an unknown, but VeloFutur says the running of the team will go into the background until the company has decided on its "strategic direction".