American Tower Sues Michigan Company for Unpaid Tower Rent

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American Tower Corporation is suing Frankenmuth-Michigan-based Air Advantage for unpaid tower rent. American Tower seeks to recover damages, “in excess of $75,000,” according to the complaint, filed June 28, in U.S. District Court. American Tower and its subsidiaries, Spectrasite, Unisite, and GTP Towers, combined own 94 towers in Michigan. Air Advantage provides wireless and fiber-based internet throughout the state.

In 2011, the companies negotiated access for Air Advantage to AMT’s towers. License agreements were executed between 2011 and 2013, granting, “Air Advantage non-exclusive rights to install, maintain, operate, service, modify and/or replace its approved equipment” at each respective AMT tower, according to the complaint.

In return, Air Advantage was responsible for paying a monthly license fee. A late payment fee would be applied to past-due payments, “equal to 25 percent of the then-current Monthly License Fee,” for payment overdue by 10 days or more, states the AMT complaint.

Between March 2011 and July 2013, Air Advantage installed its equipment on 28 of the 94 AMT towers. In July 2013, AMT alleges Air Advantage failed to pay remit fees on all 94 AMT towers and around October or November of that year, Air Advantage made payments on the past due amounts on 28 license agreements. After the initial default, Air Advantage made payments until August 2015. That’s when it stopped making any payments, according to AMT. The companies tried to reach a settlement in 2015 but couldn’t.

In total, AMT says Air Advantage defaulted on 66 agreements in 2013, and 28 agreements in 2015. AMT says it incurred damages as a result of the missing payments and is suing Air Advantage for breach of contract. AMT alleges Air Advantage became “unjustly enriched” at AMT’s expense.

AMT seeks its actual damages, filing and attorney’s fees. It’s demanding a jury trial. According to a summons issued to Air Advantage, the company has 21 days to respond. The case is No. 1:19−cv−11950−TLL−PTM.  

July 8, 2019

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