Industry giant Intel has formally broken off with Electronic Resources Australia (ERA) after questions about improprieties were raised by Australian Reseller News during interviews with executives from both organisations.
Late Friday, after repeated attempts by ARN to confirm reports that Intel had suspended ERA, the two companies released a joint statement that read: "Intel and Electronic Resources Australia have come to a mutual agreement to discontinue their relationship. Electronic Resources Australia Pty Ltd will cease the distribution of Intel's product in Australia with immediate effect."
Reports of trouble in the Intel/ERA ranks reached ARN nearly two weeks ago, and, when approached for comment or confirmation, neither company was initially forthcoming.
The reports centred on irregularities concerned with improper importation, among other rumours.
David Bolt, managing director of Intel in Australia, told ARN in an exclusive interview late Friday, "Our obligation is to ensure our dealers know who the distributors are in this marketplace. There are now two distributors - Tech Pacific and Synnex."
Bolt declined to elaborate on the reasons for terminating ERA, citing confidentiality.
ERA is an affiliate of US distribution giant, Ingram Micro. Bolt went to great lengths to explain that the actions taken here were unique to Australia and would have no impact on the relationship between Intel Asia Pacific and Electronic Resources Asia Pacific.
David Cullen, managing director of Tech Pacific, another of Intel's major distributors said, "If the reports we've heard are accurate, it will make it very difficult for Ingram Micro to regain credibility in the channel. A number of ERA's customers have already been in contact with us."
Robert Lee, executive director of ERA, was quoted in the company's press release as saying he hoped ERA would "re-engage in business with Intel Australia sometime in the future."
Further updates throughout the week on at http//:arn.idg.com.au