Tech Industry

3Com switches off Dell deal

The company cancels an agreement that let Dell sell its networking switches, becoming the third supplier to end deals with Dell as the PC giant moves into new markets.

3Com has canceled an agreement that allowed Dell to sell its line of networking switches, becoming the third supplier to end deals with Dell as the PC giant moves into new markets.

Dell said it was notified Wednesday night of 3Com's decision. 3Com follows in the footsteps of Cisco, which ended its reseller agreement with Dell earlier this month. In July, HP also canceled a deal with the company after Dell confirmed its intent to enter the printer market. A 3Com representative was not immediately available for comment.

Dell spokeswoman Mary Fad said the company is aware that its partners may choose to end deals as Dell enters their markets. The Austin, Texas-based PC maker has already expanded into projectors and networking gear and has said it's looking to begin selling its own printers and handhelds.

"I think it goes with the territory," Fad said. "This is just the nature of what happens as you move into new markets. It's a business decision, and it makes sense that they would choose not to have us resell their products."

3Com will continue to make networking cards and modems that are used by Dell with its PC line, Fad said. Dell also has the option of getting 3Com switches through distributors if there is customer demand, she said.

"This really will have no material impact on Dell," Fad said. "We have a full line of PowerConnect switches that we think compete very well with 3Com."

3Com first detailed the decision during its earnings conference call Thursday.

"They have become a competitor," a 3Com representative said. "As a result, we made the decision to eliminate their status as a 3Com registered reseller."