The company licensed to run mobile operator EasyMobile has closed the ill-fated only 18 months after its launch.

But owner of the brand, easyGroup chief executive, Stelios Haji-Iannou has said he will pursue compensation for damage to the brand the mobile firm shared with his other ventures, including the low cost airline easyJet.

The mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) has not had an easy existence, having launched using T-Mobile’s network in August 2004. It was regularly embroiled in litigious battles, with other network operator Orange over the mutual colour branding, and with Carphone Warehouse in a dispute over website domain names.

Customers were emailed notification if the closure and told their service will cease from midnight on 13 December. Refunds on outstanding credit or switching to the Carphone Warehouse MVNO equivalent, Fresh were on offer.

The move follows attempts to bolster the brand earlier this year, when the MVNO broke its web-based business model to offer its phones on the high street in The Link mobile shops.

The Danish operator TDC, which ran easyMobile has recently been taken over by a private equity firm, shortly after which easyGroup terminated the licensing agreement.

"Simply put, TDC is no longer a worthy licensee of the easy brand and damages will be sought to compensate for any damage done to the brand in the past or in the future," said easyGroup CEO Stelios in a statement.

A company spokesman added that the closure might not be terminal. "We see this more as a change of supplier," he said.