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Computacenter buying and Tech Data fighting in France

There is plenty going on over the other side of the Channel at the moment as Computacenter looks to expand and Tech Data and Ingram counter fines dished out by the French authorities

France has managed to grab the channel spotlight, with Computacenter making advances and Tech Data having issues on the other side of the Channel.

Computacenter has demonstrated that it is still business as usual despite the chaos caused by the cornonavirus after indicating that it is looking to add to its foothold in France.

The channel player has revealed that it is in exclusive talks to acquire BT’s domestic operations in France.

BT is looking to focus the business on a global scale in a slightly different direction, but will form a partnership agreement with Computacenter to ensure continuity for existing customers and future growth opportunities.

“With this agreement, we are close to reaching another milestone in the execution of our strategy to make BT Global a more agile business focused on the growing requirements of our multinational customers,” said Bas Burger, CEO of Global, BT. “I believe this agreement will prove a key step forward for our customers, for our people and for BT.”

Because of the way deals go on the other side of the Channel, the process should take a couple of months to be talked through by works councils. If it does get the green light, it should complete by the end of 2020.

BT’s domestic operations in France cover management and maintenance of IT and network infrastructure, and related professional services. During the fiscal year ending in March 2019, the business generated total revenue of €118m (£104m).

Computacenter already has a strong business in France which continued to grow in its full-year results for 2019, with the territory delivering a 15.7% improvement in revenues.

“This planned acquisition represents a small increase in our current revenues in France, which totaled €644.7m in 2019,” said Mike Norris, CEO of Computacenter Group. “The current coronavirus pandemic shows the importance of secure and reliable networks to our customers and this deal would significantly strengthen our existing French business in this growth area.

“It would bring our customer offering in France closer to the broader portfolio in our larger European markets, providing a strong foundation for our continued long-term growth.”

Meanwhile, Tech Data has also been concentrating on issues in France, announcing that it will fight the decision by the French Competition Authority (FCA) to fine it and Ingram Micro over the distribution of Apple products (excluding the iPhone) in the country between 2005 and 2013.

Tech Data said it disagreed with the decision and will appeal against the findings and legal reasoning.

Earlier this month, the FCA imposed fines totalling $1.38bn on Apple and its distributors, Tech Data and Ingram Micro. The vendor took the bulk of the hit, but the distributors faced fines of $84.8m and $70.2m, respectively. 

Ingram had already indicated it will fight the decision and Tech Data has said it will do the same.

“Tech Data continues to abide by strong ethical and legal compliance standards, as per the company’s global code of conduct,” said the firm. “In the area of competition law, Tech Data is committed to competing independently in the marketplace in full compliance with all applicable antitrust and competition laws, wherever the company operates.”

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