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Game On at Gateway

A proxy fight seems more likely.

The deadline that a group of activist investors gave



to meet its demands has come and gone, and judging by the latest filing with the

Securities and Exchange Commission

, the PC maker doesn't seem willing to play ball.

That sets the stage for a proxy fight to garner three seats on the Irvine, Calif., computer maker's board.

The investors, which include Firebrand Partners and Harbinger Capital Partners and together own 10.7% of Gateway, sent a letter to the company's top brass Wednesday signaling their intent to demand access to Gateway's complete list of stockholders and certain other corporate records.

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The investors said they want the records in order to "communicate" with the issuer's stockholders.

Reached by phone, Firebrand managing member Scott Galloway said he could not comment on the matter. A representative from Gateway was not immediately available for comment.

Last month, the investor group

sent a letter to Gateway's management asking it to abolish by last Tuesday its anti-takeover measures and to appoint three unnamed Firebrand designees to its board of directors, among other things. Calling the potential to increase shareholder value dramatic but "perishable," the group told Gateway it had until the end of October to indicate its willingness to comply.

Gateway said at the time that it was reviewing the request.

In the new letter to Gateway dated Wednesday and disclosed in a filing with the SEC on the same day, Galloway cites a phone discussion with Gateway's management on Tuesday.

"We look forward to continuing discussions with you regarding how we can work together for the benefit of all shareholders," says Galloway, thanking Gateway CEO Ed Coleman and Chairman Rick Snyder for their call the day before.

But the letter then goes on to say that in the meantime, the investors will be submitting a letter to Gateway "demanding" a right to inspect a list of shareholders and other corporate records.

Shares of Gateway were off 1.21%, or 2 cents, at $1.63 in extended trading.