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Big German distie forced to buy AMD chips

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Intel Developer Forum German distributor Lion said today it was forced to sell AMD chips because of channel conflict which Intel has failed to resolve. Karl-Heinz Muller, general manager of networks and systems at Lion, said that large shopping chain Aldi was selling systems using PII/400 and PII/450 systems at a price Intel would not give his company. Aldi's prices for so-called performance systems were so good that even his dealer customers were buying from Aldi. They are stripping down the machines and re-using the components including the Intel motherboards and chips. While Muller said that Intel had offered him a good price on Celerons, much of his business was concerned with SCSI workstations, which required PII/400s and PII/450s. However, Intel's inability to offer him a good price or provide him with any explanation means that he is being forced to use K6-2s. Lion is one of Intel's 25 Tier Three distributors in Europe and says it is one of the top five channel players. It buys something like 40,000 chips a month. Aldi sells the performance PCs at irregular intervals throughout the year, typically selling 200,000 units a time, which go like hot cakes. But Paul Otellini, a senior VP at Intel US, said: "Our pricing policies have stood the test of time. It is a level playing field. "Our discounts between large customers and smaller customers in single figures. Our pricing is very fair." ®

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