Compaq is to add a clause to its reseller agreements warning that partners found knowingly dealing in fake Compaq kit will have their contracts terminated.
Mike Morgan, general manager of partner management at Compaq UK, said: "Compaq will be introducing an addendum to all accreditation contracts.
Partners found to be knowingly selling counterfeit products will constitute a material breach of their contracts, which will be terminated with 30 days' notice."
Morgan said the clause will discourage resellers from buying from the grey market and put the onus on them to ensure products are legitimate.
"Like other vendors, if the grey market becomes a problem it's our job to fix it."
The move comes after Computer Reseller News reported claims that a Compaq distributor had been incorrectly informed it had fake memory in stock.
According to the broker who said he had supplied the product, the memory was genuine Compaq kit which had been sourced through the grey market (CRN, 5 April).
Grey market sources told CRN that Compaq is trying to keep grey-market activity within distribution and stop resellers from getting involved.
One UK grey-market distributor said: "This will scare off resellers from dealing with brokers and drive them into the arms of companies that can vouch the product is genuine."
Morgan said that if a reseller buys fakes from unregulated sources and does not verify that the product is genuine, that would be interpreted as knowingly dealing in fakes.
Another source said: "This isn't doing much new. It hasn't specified that resellers must buy only from authorised distributors."
Morgan said the measures are intended to ensure that anybody using the grey market has taken steps to verify it is genuine product. "If a reseller buys grey-market products from an authorised distributor, it is the distributor that has the responsibility," he said.
Morgan said divisions of Compaq will occasionally dispose of obsolete or discontinued products through brokers, but this does not lead to counterfeit imports. "Compaq UK only sells products to authorised partners," he said.
But observers said it is not in Compaq's interest to kill off the grey market completely.
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