Escom AG, was a powerful German computer company and it was ironically the Amiga business that crippled Escom AG. The German hardware company was on the rise during the ’90’s and was a popular European brand and controlling over 11% of the German PC market by 1994. The big sucses was thanks to a very good corporation with big retail stores in the Netherlands and concerns like Neckermann, with over 1500 stores in 10 countries Escom AG was the second largest PC retailer. Escom AG was famous for spending a lot of money on advertisements and branding. In 1995 Escom AG bought Commodore International for US$14 million, primarily to get the Commodore brand name. It successfully won a bid for the company over and above a rival bid from Commodore UK. However it started using the Commodore brand on PC computers sold in Europe, and stripped the Amiga platform from it’s famous Commodore brand and created a new division Amiga Technologies Gmbh and appointed Petro Tyschtschenko as director. Amiga Technologies started building new Amiga 1200 computers in France.

However the new produced Amiga 1200 by Amiga technologies had serious compatibility problems with the original Commodore Amiga 1200 computers. Escom AG did a ‘very large’ advertisement campaign in the UK for Amiga 1200 magic packs but the basic Amiga 1200 without hard drive and CD-ROM could no longer compete with the new Microsoft Windows 95 and full multimedia PC system packages cheaper then ever by various hardware manufacturers. Towards the end of 1995, Viscorp applied for a license by Escom AG to produce Amiga-based set-top systems but the systems never got released. Suddenly Escom AG made a loss of 125 million marks end 1995 instead of the previously forecast loss of 45 million marks. It blamed weaker prices, declining sales, and the failed Amiga acquisition. The German company declared bankruptcy on 15 July 1996 and was liquidated. The Commodore trademarks were purchased the following year by Tulip Computers, while the remaining trademarks, together with the full set of patents, copyrights and other intellectual property, were acquired by Gateway 2000. The new company hoped to launch a new AmigaOS based on QNX. In the meantime Haage & Partner/Amiga Inc. started building AmigaOS 3.5 since 1997 and launched it in 2000.

More news: Generation Amiga magazine