02 February 2005

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Computer companies consider suing government
By Julian Manduca

Some importers of computers are offering their products below their cost price and are planning to sue the government for their losses, The Malta Financial and Business Times has learned.
The ministry for investment and information technology’s decision to assist in the provision of more affordable computers seems to have worked wonders on the market, with several computer shops now offering computers at cheaper prices, but GRTU vice-president Marcel Mizzi told The Malta Financial and Business Times yesterday that some importers were reducing their prices and intended to sue the government for any losses incurred.
Mizzi made it clear that the GRTU was not backing the idea of suing the government and is instead hoping for an agreement with the ministry, which would be more acceptable to the computer importers and retailers.
Minister Austin Gatt’s decision to assist in marketing cheap HP computers has caused a crash of the computer market and very few sales are being registered, with most potential buyers waiting for the HP offer. Mizzi said that if the ministry pushes ahead with its plans, computer traders, especially smaller companies, are in for a hard time.
While many of the offers being made by companies over the past days may seem very attractive, The Malta Financial and Business Times is informed that the prices are only slightly lower than what they used to sell at, and that the computers on offer are very basic models.

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