In a move that smacks more of price control than providing a convenience to consumer D&M Holdings owner of the Denon, Marantz, MacIntosh Laboratory, Boston Acoustics, Snell Acoustics, D&M Professional, ReplayTV(R) and Escient(R) brands are attempting to control the sale of their products over the Internet.
The decision to restrict web sales comes at a time when research shows that millions of consumers are now using the web to research products and then purchase online.
In a statement released by D&M they say that they have up a new Internet compliance team and an enforcement process that will work to identify dealers who are violators and warn them of potential legal action and if necessary, prosecute offenders through legal action. As part of its enforcement initiative, D&M has set up a dedicated web address, email@example.com, to provide an immediate communications link for reps wishing to report potential violators
The effort could well prove futile as a search of eBay shows that many D&M dealers are already shifting D&M brands online. In Australia SHN spoke to one dealer who sells several D&M products both in store and online. They said “We have a separate operation that sells on eBay. We either buy up distress D&M stock which right now is easy to do or we shift slow selling stock online for new stock. It is going to be very hard for them to police this and they could well end up spending millions trying to police a leaking hole when the money would be better spent on marketing D&M products”.
See: http://search.ebay.com/denon or http://search.ebay.com/marantz
D&M claim that they will utilise a variety of advanced Internet search technologies and proven techniques, ensuring that products from all D&M brands are distributed only by authorised distributors and dealers and that all D&M retailers follow the terms of their signed agreements.
The claim that the D&M initiative also includes an Internet sales enforcement policy that calls for immediate evaluation and potential termination of any D&M retailer who violates their agreement with D&M by transhipping D&M goods. D&M will also investigate and consider enforcement proceedings against unauthorised internet retailers who induce authorised D&M dealers to breach their contractual relationships with D&M by selling products on the Internet.
A spokesperson for D&M said “We intend to vigilantly enforce our rights against those who infringe on D&M trademarks and illegally use D&M’s copyrighted materials”.
Among D&M Distributors in Australia are Qualifi and Audio Products Australia.