NextDC founder Bevan Slattery has challenged Macquarie Telecom chief executive David Tudehope to a $1 million bet over a controversial comment about the future of new entrants into the data centre market.
Comment was being sought from Tudehope on whether he would accept the wager.
In a speech to the CommsDay Summit, Tudehope raised concerns of a repeat of the data centre glut of the early 2000s, where a number of new entrants went broke or were acquired.
That raised the ire of Slattery, who used his closing keynote at the summit to issue an ultimatum to Tudehope over the comments.
NextDC was one of a number of new data centre players. It was building three data centres backed by $100 million in seed and investor capital and an experienced team headed by Pipe Networks' founder Slattery.
"An interesting point I heard yesterday was David Tudehope said I'd be out of business in three years time, so.... that was bit disappointing," Slattery said to raucous laughter.
"I got to sit next to David last night and ask him this question so he said basically new entrants [to the data centre market] will probably go broke.
"I'm pretty sure David doesn't believe that but just in case he does, today I'm going to bet David Tudehope a million dollars that he's wrong."
News of the bet was met with applause from attendees.
"So if David thinks I'm going to be out of business then the bet is on - here's a million dollars," Slattery said, pointing to a PowerPoint slide shown to all delegates.
"The winner gets to select the charity it goes to.
"I'll go even one [step] further and say that not only will I be right but I'll be co-locating 20 of his competitors [in my data centres]."
Slattery announced the bet publicly so "everyone knows about" it.
"So David Tudehope... put up or shut up," Slattery said.
Slattery was not the first businessman to challenge a rival to a $1 million bet.
Consumer electronics reseller Ruslan Kogan laid down a $1 million challenge to the chief of JB Hi-Fi that Apple would pull its hardware from JB's shelves by March 2014.