Amstrad threatens fresh legal action on Seagate disk drives
SHEEL KOHLI in London
Amstrad, the British consumer electronics group, says it is considering launching fresh legal action against Seagate Technology of the United States for alleged fraud.
The company, which has been awarded GBP57.5 million, (about HK$750.95 million) over the purchase of faulty hard disk drives from Seagate, also intends to launch another appeal for the award of interest and taxation.
Last Friday a judge awarded the company more than GBP85 million in interest and damages, but the company is seeking a total settlement of GBP105 million, including interest on a claim dating to 1989.
The long-running case against Seagate is seen as one of the turning points for Amstrad, which lost its once commanding position in the European computer market, where in the late 1980s it had about a 26 per cent market share.
In striking major components supply deals with Seagate Technology and Western Digital, also of the US, the company was hoping to diversify from too much concentration on the consumer market, and break into the lucrative corporate market.
At that time, the launch of the 2000 series, which had been designed to appeal to the corporate market failed dramatically, after the computers were found to have been supplied with faulty disk drives, said a spokesman.
Amstrad will also be taking Western Digital to court before Christmas, in a suit for GBP70 million, the spokesman said.