Datech will continue to stock the rest of the Visio product range.
IntelliCad which, according to Visio, has 95 per cent of the functionality of AutoDesk's AutoCad LT, retails at #249. AutoCad costs more than #3,000.
Sources have suggested the decision gave AutoDesk an unfair competitive advantage and reduces consumer choice.
AutoDesk was originally prevented from buying the IntelliCad product by the US Monopolies Commission. AutoCad holds more than 75 per cent market share.
Sarah Whipp, software buyer at Action Computer Supplies, said: 'We believe in a free market and expect distributors to do so as well. Any decision that tries to force the customer to purchase one particular product over another is bad for the industry.'
Bob Clements, technical director at Visio reseller NT CadCam, said: 'Because of the similarity between the products and the huge price difference, Autodesk is obviously scared. From a legal point of view, this does raise the question of restrictive practices.'
Jim Horsburgh, managing director of Visio Europe, said: 'An arrangement of this kind is unprecedented. It says a lot about the impact that IntelliCad is set to have on the Cad market.'
Axel Lagerborg, general software manager at Computer 2000, said the decision was simply a matter of focus: 'No agreement has been signed. We have decided to focus on AutoCad LT because it provides higher margins than the Visio product.'
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