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There was little likelihood that Alcatel NV would want to hang on to the hodgepodge of US computer interests it inherited from ITT Corp, Qume is already gone, and now that company has announced that the former Courier business in Tempe, Arizona has been sold to IDEAssociates Inc, Billerica, Massachusetts for an undisclosed sum. The business, which had been trading as Alcatel Business Systems, manufactures IBM 3270-compatible displays, controllers and printers in competition with the likes of Memorex Telex International NV and Lee Data Corp. IDEA specialises in MS-DOS computer communications products and terminals for IBM’s System 36, 38 and AS/400 computers. It is not clear whether the sale includes what is left of the ITT Xtra MS-DOS clone business, but it seems likely that it does. The sale does not affect Alcatel Business Systems in Europe, which sells IBM-compatible communications processors from NCR-Comten, and other IBM communications products as well as the 3270 line; Alcatel will now buy these from IDEAssociates, which also gets a US service and support network in the deal. IDEAssociates was unable yesterday to give any details of what was included in the deal, give any idea of the size of the business, or give any details of its own financial performance.

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