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TABLOID: ACCC FIASCO

TABLOID: ACCC FIASCO

Yet another channel player has copped some grief from the activities of a government body, right on the back of a recent Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) fiasco (ARN July 7, page 1).

Sydney assembler MBI claims to have sustained damages from an ASIC Y2K linked business stunt.

And now, court action being taken by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) against Millennium Solutions (Australia) and Millennium Solutions Group Australasia appears to have again created problems for an unrelated trader in the IT channel -MS400 Asia Pacific.

According to Brendan Hannelly, director of MS400 Asia Pacific (MS400 AP), which is part of the Dublin-based Millennium Group, the action against the companies with similar names has caused both embarrassment and anger for the vendor of year 2000 software engineering tools for the AS/400 platform.

While the ACCC has filed proceedings in the Federal Court in Melbourne against its namesake for allegedly breaching the mandatory franchising code of conduct, Hannelly reports that even IBM is seeking clarification as to any association with its business partner.

MS400 AP is a joint venture between Millennium Group's software division, Millennium Solutions and Australian company Open Systems Management (OSM).

Hannelly claimed that, after setting up the joint venture in November last year, when they went to register the "Millennium" company name, they found it was already registered to unrelated parties.

In a carefully worded statement sent to ARN, MS400 AP announced: "MS400 Asia Pacific Pty Ltd, part of Dublin-based Millennium Group is in no way involved with the ACCC proceedings against Millennium Diagnostics (Vic- toria) Pty Ltd, Millennium Solutions (Australia) Pty Ltd and Millennium Solutions Group Australasia Pty Ltd. The ACCC has alleged these companies engaged in misleading and deceptive promotion of franchises for Year 2000 Com- pliance computer software and technical support services."

Gattari gets in employment Q

By Cat Beauchamp

What a week in the retail channel with Compaq, HP and Apple sharing the headlines! But there is a dark horse in the story-of-the-week stakes and yes, it is about that man, that enigma, that walking headline - the G man from Harvey Norman.

Tabloid has been forced to speculate that Tony Gattari, the soon-to-be-on-his-bike computers GM with the ubiquitous retailer, may be in line to secure a similar role with retail wannabe Compaq.

Gattari admitted to be "talking to a lot of companies" as well as still being "very interested in retail", he refused to deny that Compaq's retail operation is in his sights.

Another source close to Gattari also refused to either collaborate or dispute the prods of this Tabloid scribe. Incidentally, he has gone noticeably softer in his crusade against direct-selling vendors.

Meanwhile, other Tabloid sources have confirmed a targeted campaign by Compaq to recruit a retail workforce. Having taken Harvey Norman's computer sales from a fledgling $12 million to currently more than $500 million in his nine years at the helm, Gattari would have to have been considered.

Channel journalists are salivating at even the remotest possibility there may finally be someone to call at Compaq for some off-the-hip comment. The company is renowned in media circles as one of the toughest IT nuts to crack.

ED shouts channel a happy new year

Express Data decided to celebrate the new financial year in style around the country by gathering some of its business partners at some of the trendiest capital city joints for an ale or two.

At Darling Harbour's Oneworld Sports in Sydney, ED's Ross Cochrane hosted around 400 guests (and a couple of journos) as they saw in the new year with a wine or two.

Pictured are Allied Telesyn's regional manager Mark Jackson, NetStar's Neil "Stumpy" Turner and Senteq's Nick Fyfe.

Also kicking their heels up at the ED Sydney bash was 3Com's Rosie Burton, Ilana Stone from Lexmark, and at the front, Rebecca Hawson, also from Lexmark.

Complaints queue here

One of Tabloid's spies was out at the new Servex office and warehouse facility at Homebush. The Acer-owned component distributor has most things covered and the recent move to Homebush presented the usual challenges.

True to Servex's commitment to complete customer service though, our scribe noticed the sign on a door, clearly visable from reception reading "COMPLAINTS DEPARTMENT." Pity really, because our man actually came for an ARGUMENT . . . apparently the Arguments Department is down the road.

From the China channel...

Tabloid was particularly interested to note an analogy published by Beijing's China Youth Daily newspaper when assessing the impact Linux is having on Microsoft's Windows. It said the situation is: "a little like the peasant uprising of Chen Sheng and Wu Guang. In a world of hegemony long suppressed, many feel oppressed but the majority don't know where their suffering originates. Once someone stands up, he will have followers like clouds."

Our resident expert on Sino matters says Chen Sheng and Wu Guang were legendary pre-BC labourers on the Great Wall who incited a rebellion against the dictatorial emperor Qin Shi HuangHi and met with popular support.

Movers and Shakers

Cisco has collected another Nortel scalp with the appointment of Alex Krawchuk to the position of account manager in its Australian Telecommunications/Service Provider Line of Business (TSP LOB). During his nine years with the enemy, Krawchuk worked in account management, marketing, and finally with major customers in the service provider market as director of business development.


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