Dell de-emphasizing HP printers

Hewlett-Packard was once the major brand of printers sold by Dell Computer, but times are changing.

Dell Chief Executive Michael Dell said Monday that his company is increasingly emphasizing other brands of printers in its sales efforts.

"We have moved over the last year or two toward Lexmark International Group and some of the Japanese printer manufacturers, and I would expect that to continue," he said during a speech at the Lehman Brothers Semiconductor Conference in San Francisco.

Dell's drift on printers, to a certain degree, illuminates some of the current challenges facing HP, which last week announced plans to acquire rival Compaq Computer.

For years, HP has dominated the printer business and enjoyed healthy margins on ink, supplies and printers. In 1998, the company signed an agreement with Dell that enabled the PC maker to sell HP printers on its Web site and through its corporate sales force. The deal dismayed HP computer dealers, who viewed Dell as a competitor.

News source: CNet News

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