Compaq has made the Dixons Stores Group (DSG) its only UK retail outlet for the Presario PC range, attracting the wrath of other chains as well as smaller retailers.
Michael Kraftman, deputy chairman of Tempo, referred the deal to his lawyers, and The John Lewis Partnership has complained to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).
Jude Meadows, director of consumer business computing division at Compaq, confirmed the deal. "The rationale behind this is to streamline our distribution channel. By mid-December the deal will be in action," she said.
Hamish Haynes, marketing director of Compaq, added: "It's a local initiative. It is moving away from a fragmented channel, as we must increase focus."
The OFT will not be challenging the deal. A spokesman said: "Dixons has about 20 per cent of the retail market but Compaq does not have a significant share of the retail sector. This will not affect competition. We will not rule out looking at this in the future."
David Atherton, managing director of Dabs Direct, said: "Compaq has turned its back on the mail-order and ecommerce channel. Many of the larger vendors have warmed to mail order, but Compaq is one company that has refused to do so."
Clive Bishop, general secretary of the National Association of Specialist Computer Retailers, said the move is typical of large vendors ignoring the independent retail chains.
A spokesman for Dixons said: "It will mean increased efficiencies for our supply chain. It will also offer Compaq the opportunity to increase its UK brand awareness."
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