Vodafone was scared that EE would drop Phones 4U leaving Vodafone as the retailer?s sole network and weakening its negotiating position with Carphone Warehouse, the High Court of Justice Business and Property Court heard on Day 20 of the Phones4U case against the mobile network operators.

? Had EE pulled out of Phones 4u before we did, we would have been the last operator trading in Phones 4U. EE had twice as much volume in Phones 4U as we did. We were about a third of their volume, EE was about two-thirds of their volume?, Cindy Rose who was managing director of Vodafone?s consumer division at the time told a court last week.

Rose is now president of Microsoft for Western Europe. She was giving evidence in the case brought by Phones 4U In Administration against Vodafone, EE, Orange, Telefonica, and Deutsche Telekom.

The administrators of Phones 4U allege that the networks all colluded to push the retailer into administration. Phones4U went bust in September 2014 with the loss of 5,000 jobs after EE and Vodafone were the final two networks to terminate their agreements with Phones 4U.

Rose said if EE had pulled to (which it did) ?they (Phones 4U) would have been very wounded at that stage and struggling. We would have had little to no negotiating leverage with Carphone Warehouse. For us, that scenario would have been disastrous which is why we were so intent on moving quickly and seizing first-mover advantage.