Compaq Issues New Guidelines for Web Sales

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Compaq Computer Corp., Houston, last week issued new guidelines for companies that offer its Presario line of personal computers directly through the Internet. In February, the company suspended distribution to some Web-based resellers after retailers reportedly complained that some Internet marketers were undercutting them by offering computers at wholesale prices. According to some published reports, Compaq, the No. 1 maker of personal computers, now is requiring direct resellers like Onsale.com and others to sell Compaq Presario computers at the minimum advertised price, although such companies are permitted to bundle additional features with the computers for no additional charge. Compaq also is requiring resellers to provide basic support service through a toll-free number. About 11 Web-based resellers, including Onsale.com, Buy.com, Value America, PCSave and Shopping.com, had been affected by Compaq's de-authorization move.

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