Confusion reigns over Mustek complaint against HP - TechCentral

Confusion reigns over Mustek complaint against HP

Hein Engelbrecht

Hewlett-Packard’s SA subsidiary says it is still unable to comment on a complaint lodged at the Competition Commission by JSE-listed computer assembler and technology distributor Mustek as it says the commission has been unable to supply it with a copy of the complaint.

HP spokesman Hedy Gorton says HP SA’s legal representative has made contact with the commission and been told that it (the commission) has no record of a complaint filed by Mustek. Gorton says HP SA is still waiting to see the complaint and cannot comment until it has received a copy.

HP SA officials expressed doubt on Thursday that a complaint had, in fact, been lodged.

However, Mustek MD Hein Engelbrecht has forwarded a copy of a letter Mustek received from the commission confirming receipt of the complaint against HP. The letter, dated 1 December 2009 and signed by case co-ordinator Innocent Tau, identifies the case number for the complaint as 2009Dec4802.

Mustek has accused HP SA of contravening certain sections of the Competition Act and has asked the commission to investigate. It’s understood that the complaint relates mainly to the sale of desktop PCs and notebooks, though Mustek isn’t commenting in detail on the contents thereof.

Among other things, Mustek has accused HP SA of selling goods below their marginal or average variable cost; of engaging in resale price maintenance; engaging in price discrimination; inducing customers not to deal with competitors; and engaging in exclusionary acts.

In a separate development, HP SA says it has appointed Frank van Rees as its new MD. Rees, who takes the reins at the company in January, is currently enterprise business lead for HP in The Netherlands.  — Duncan McLeod, TechCentral

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