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 user 2009-01-12 at 3:38:22 pm Views: 69
  • #21286
    HP says it will stop distributor’s sales in Iran
    said it has taken “further steps” to block the sale of its products in
    Iran, after a newspaper reported that a distributor was selling HP
    printers there despite a federal ban on exporting U.S. products to that
    country.The Palo Alto computer giant has declined to comment directly
    on a Dec. 29 report by The Boston Globe, which found that an
    independent distributor based in Dubai was selling HP printers widely
    in Iran. The Globe also cited a 1999 news report in which an HP
    executive appeared to acknowledge the sales, despite a federal trade
    ban that started four years earlier.The Clinton administration enacted
    the economic boycott, which is still in effect, in the hope of
    pressuring Iran to stop funding militant groups and to abandon its
    nuclear development efforts. HP may have violated the law if the
    company knowingly allowed the distributor to sell HP products in Iran,
    according to trade experts cited by the Globe.

    But a U.S.
    company might not be liable for the actions of an independent
    distributor, if the distributor sold products in Iran without the
    manufacturer’s knowledge, said former prosecutor Michael Li-Ming Wong,
    who ran the white-collar crime section for the U.S. attorney’s office
    in San Francisco before joining private law firm Ropes & Gray. He
    stressed that he wasn’t commenting on the specifics of the HP
    situation.An HP representative declined Friday to say what the company
    knew about sales of its printers in Iran.

    HP, which says it “has
    a policy of complete compliance with all U.S. export laws,” issued a
    statement late Thursday that said it has clarified the terms of its
    contracts with distributors “to explicitly prohibit the sale of HP
    products in Iran.” The company also said it will monitor its Middle
    Eastern distributors more closely.”Having recently examined the
    situation, we believe it’s important to go beyond the letter of the
    law,” the statement said, while stressing that HP does not sell any
    products directly to Iran and does not have any employees or facilities
    in that country.The Globe report included a description of HP printers
    stacked high inside a Tehran storehouse. It said the distributor, an
    Indian-owned company called Redington Gulf, had licensed Iranian
    retailers to sell HP printers at various stores.

    Redington Gulf
    has posted a statement on its Web site in response to the newspaper
    report.”Redington Gulf is an authorized distributor and an authorized
    service provider in Middle East & Africa, for HP brand, amongst
    other brands of global repute,” the statement said. “We sell authorized
    products, to HP authorized customers, in authorized territories, in
    line with HP’s policy guidelines.”