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Intel apologises to Dixons for high price jibe

But UK retailer still after pound of Fujitsu's flesh

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The Great Stan of Chips has apologised to Dixons after its CEO, Craig Barrett, accused the UK high street giant of selling PCs at inflated prices. A source at Dixons is reported to have said: "We've actually received a letter of apology from Intel and we're satisfied with that." Barrett's comments about "ludicrous" pricing were made last November at Comdex Fall. Soon after, the former trade and industry secretary, Peter Mandelson, instigated an investigation into Dixons' pricing by the Office of Fair Trading. While this letter has resolved the bad blood between Intel and Dixons, the UK retailer is still gunning for PC manufacturer Fujitsu. Fujitsu has been in bullish mood since it began selling its desktop and notebook PCs in Tesco supermarkets and Texaco petrol stations last year. Asked why it was keen to bypass the traditional retail channel and sell through supermarkets, Fujitsu, in the guise of sales director Frank O'Brien, cited Tesco's more flexible approach to margins and price points -- the implication was always that the leading lights of the UK retail channel had got a little too used to higher margins. Dixons is now pursuing legal action against Fujitsu after the PC vendor accused Dixons of reaping high profit at the expense of manufacturers and customers alike. The comments appeared in an article published by channel weekly newspaper PC Dealer. ®

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