Amstrad doesn't expect Seagate award reverse

Amstrad doesn't expect to be hurt by any Seagate appeal after Alan Sugar's company struck gold with the £57.5 million award by the High Court on Friday.

An Amstrad spokesman said today that its legal staff don't expect any major changes in the case. "The feeling is that it will be a difficult thing to appeal," he said. Seagate said in an official statement it was "currently evaluating the Court's decision" but will take the full force of the award in its next financial quarter statement.

The payment relates to a lawsuit Amstrad has been pursuing since 1998 and relates to faulty disk drives the UK company claims caused sales of its PCs to collapse. Interest on the award will amount to about £40 million more, radically enlarging Amstrad. The company is pursuing a similar case against Western Digital, due to go on trial later this year in California.

A typically emotional Sugar greeted the news of the victory with jubilation tinged by regret. "Nobody will ever know the feeling of devastation suffered by me and the members of my close team when the fruition of our work in establishing Amstrad as the European leader in PCs was crumbling away," he said. "We were caught by an incredible coincidence, whereby two different suppliers both shipped us bad hard drives .... Nobody will ever know where Amstrad would be if this had not happened."

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