General Capital Group, a German investment firm, claimed that it entered into an oral deal with AT&T in January 2009 to broker the purchase of T-Mobile for a 2% commission on what was to be a $39 billion deal. In May 2009, GC held another meeting with AT&T, during which AT&T indicated it was not interested in pursuing the transaction at that time. After two years with no communication between GC and AT&T, the latter announced that it intended to acquire T-Mobile. GC approached AT&T, which denied that it had any deal with GC.
GC filed suit for breach of contract. During the pendency of the suit, AT&T announced that it was not longer going to pursue the T-Mobile deal due to opposition by the Justice Department. With no sale on which to base its claim for a massive commission, GC changed its theory to to fraud, seeking recovery of $30 million for the “reasonable value of its services.” The trial court granted summary judgment, and the court of appeals affirmed. GC could not recover for fraud because even if AT&T had agreed to a 2% success fee, GC could not show harm because there hadn’t ever been any success for such a fee to be based on. Likewise, GC could not recover for quantum meruit because it has no expectation of being paid unless there was a successful acquisition.
General Capital Group v. AT&T, No. 05-12-00446-CV