updated 04:30 am EDT, Wed April 16, 2003
Apple reseller Elite Compuyers has filed suit against Apple for $5 million dollars for alleged breach of contract, according to an article in the San Jose/Silicon Valley Business Journal. Meanwhile, several sources indicate that Elite Computers has closed four of its ComputerWare Macintosh retail stores in the San Francisco Bay area. (We previously noted that both saying that the un-renewed reseller contracts made up less than 1.5% of its worldwide revenue in 2002.)
[SJ Biz Journal] "The lawsuit, filed last month seeks more than $5 million in compensation for what Elite Computers says is breach of contract, unfair competition, false advertising and fraud....The complaint cites Apple's use of its new retail and online stores in engaging in unfair competition. It also alleges that Apple has contacted Elite's customers directly, trying to lure them away."
[MacNN Reader] "To follow up a recent story from the San Jose/Silicon Valley Business Journal, at the close of business April 15th, Elite Computers has closed down all four of its ComputerWare Macintosh retail stores in the San Francisco bay area (San Rafael, Cupertino, Berkeley and Santa Cruz) as well as all corporate/integration sales from Elite's headquarters in Santa Clara. All employees were immediately laid off and existing inventory is due to be liquidated at the Cupertino location over the next few weeks.
"There was speculation concerning a sale of the company or some form of partnership, but those plans collapsed this past weekend. Elite has refused to go along with Apple's latest reseller contract agreement and the company president (Thomas Armes) has decided to pursue legal action through the lawsuit mentioned in the Business Journal. Elite has had trouble in the past few months maintaining inventory, ordering product and making sales targets. After losing a major corporate client last Fall, an initial round of layoffs and pay cuts swept through the company but Elite simply was not able to recover after a lackluster holiday shopping season. This contract/lawsuit tit-for-tat business between Apple and Elite was the final nail in the coffin."