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"Dell has made it clear that it aspires to gain market share in networking and 3Com won't help Dell legitimise its sales offering with 3Com's products or 3Com's channel program benefits," said 3Com spokeswoman Catriona Parker.
Dell has been notified and must stop selling 3Com products as soon as possible under the 3Com partner programme, she said. Dell no longer has official reseller status with 3Com and so will no longer derive any benefits of having been a Gold Partner, but can pursue other avenues to sell 3Com products outside of the partner programme.
3Com's announcement follows that of network hardware giant Cisco Systems, which said last week it would drop Dell as a reseller from Friday. Hewlett-Packard (HP) recently stopped supplying Dell with printers.
Dell has started selling its own networking switches and has indicated that it may sell printers under its own brand name. The company is also expected to introduce Dell-branded PDAs.
"We have been a single source for our customers and we have provided 3Com and Cisco products. We will continue to work with our customers to provide them what they need," Dell spokesman John Coulston said.