No Shades Of Gray When It Comes To Parts And Finished Products - InformationWeek
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1/27/2004
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No Shades Of Gray When It Comes To Parts And Finished Products

A consortium against buying parts and finished products from the gray market, formed by leading IT companies, expands its reach.

The Alliance for Gray Market and Counterfeit Abatement, formerly known as the Anti-Gray Market Alliance, today disclosed its expansion from North America into Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Asia-Pacific region.

Regional councils have been developed in an effort to combat counterfeiting as well as protect brand integrity and product quality. The group, which estimates the gray market at $40 billion annually, also named a new director, Lily Mei, formally with 3Com Corp., and two board-of-directors members, Catherine Clark of Cisco Systems and Diane Rogers of Western Digital.

AGMA is a consortium formed in September 2001 by leading IT companies to advocate not buying parts and finished products from the gray market. Member companies include Advanced Fibre Communications, American Power Conversion, Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard, Lexmark, Nortel, 3Com, Maxtor, Western Digital, and Xerox.

AGMA defines the "gray market" as the sale of goods and products outside authorized distribution channels. The group believes the gray market threatens to undermine the integrity of legitimate sales channels, disrupt agreements manufacturers make with their distribution partners, and lead to decreased customer satisfaction. Illegal or counterfeit sales also could result in warranty and customer-support issues.

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