ALBANY, New York: World number two computer-maker Dell has been formally indicted by New York attorney general Andrew Cuomo for fraud, false advertising and decept-ive business practices to deceive consumers and hike product sales.

Cuomo (pictured above) is seeking an injunction against Dell's alleged behaviour, plus a court order requiring the company to pay unspecified damages to affected customers.

Also indicted alongside its parent is Dell Financial Services. Both are accused of misleading customers with promises of attractive financing only to leave them with expensive credit lines.

The lawsuit, filed in Albany County Supreme Court, says Dell denied buyers their promised rebates, and failed to honor warranties and service contracts by misleading customers and making it difficult to get technical support.

Meantime, down at Rancho Dell in Texas, the company is in six-gun mode. It will fight Cuomo's accusations, said spokesman Bob Pearson: "Our customers are our top priority at Dell. We are confident that our practices will be found to be fair and appropriate."

The computer colossus is also under investigation by the Securities & Exchange Commission on what is believed to be an unrelated matter concerning its accounting practices.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online. additional content by WARC staff