SOURCE: AGMA

AGMA

June 16, 2010 09:00 ET

AGMA Adds Deloitte & Touche to Membership Roster

Professional Services Firm Joins Fight Against Gray Market, Counterfeit and Service and Warranty Abuse

HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwire - June 16, 2010) -  The Alliance for Gray Market and Counterfeit Abatement (AGMA), a non-profit organization dedicated to addressing gray market, counterfeiting and warranty and service abuse of branded goods around the globe, today announced that it has added Deloitte & Touche LLP to its member roster. 

AGMA's membership continues to grow as leading professional services firms unite behind its cause -- Deloitte & Touche follows the recent additions of Sideman & Bancroft and PricewaterhouseCoopers. AGMA and its member companies strive to make engaging in gray market, counterfeit and warranty and service abuse more difficult, undesirable and unprofitable for the perpetrators. AGMA membership provides access to collaborative strategies, programs and effective processes to effectively address the issues surrounding the IT sector gray market. 

According to AGMA president Ram Manchi, "The fact that Deloitte & Touche has joined AGMA further underscores the significance of the issues that AGMA addresses. All of our new members in the professional services arena are firms with vast exposure to brand issues and the entire channel -- from many different angles. Through our partnership and engagement with these professional entities, AGMA will be connected to a broader base of brand owners and, collectively, we can more effectively combat the four evils -- counterfeiting, gray marketing, service abuse, and IP theft."

Additionally, Deloitte & Touche and AGMA have recently launched initial efforts on a research paper titled Channel Incentive Abuse and the Impact on the Gray Market. The whitepaper will study the profit margin impact of channel incentives, and examine the impact internal controls have on helping companies to manage and monitor channel incentives to prevent abuse and revenue leakage. This paper is expected to be completed and available by October 2010.

"Deloitte & Touche have their finger on the pulse of the channel," noted AGMA treasurer Peter Hlavnicka. "This gives them a great perspective from which to bring valuable expertise to our discussions, and the forthcoming gray market whitepaper will be a useful resource in helping to address the problems presented by incentive abuse -- which is one of the main contributors to the gray market for IT products."

AGMA provides a platform for sharing collaborative strategies in the technology sector. AGMA facilitates a forum for information sharing on a variety of topics including brand protection programs and effective processes to address the growing threats of counterfeiting, gray market fraud and service and warranty abuse. Manufacturers seek to limit gray marketing of their products, to protect both their brand and their legitimate partner ecosystem -- as well as end users. 

AGMA also advances the interests of its members through an active public policy agenda. Scott Olsen, chair of the AGMA Government Affairs Committee, noted, "Our members rely on us to advance their interests in a range of ways, including shaping public policy. Our current efforts include work on the draft cyber security bill being put together by Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman and Ranking Member Susan Collins; comments submitted on proposed federal regulations governing the procurement of information technology; and an ongoing effort by the House and Senate to reauthorize the Customs and Border Protection function of the Department of Homeland Security." He added, "All of these efforts are designed to enhance awareness of the need for federal buyers to procure authentic IT, which will in turn minimize risk to our nation's information infrastructure."

To learn more about AGMA's initiatives or to become a member, please visit www.agmaglobal.org.

About AGMA
AGMA is a non-profit organization comprised of influential companies in the technology sector. Incorporated in 2001, AGMA's mission is to address gray market fraud, parallel imports, counterfeiting, software piracy, and service abuse of technology products around the globe. The organization's goals are to protect intellectual property and authorized distribution channels, improve customer satisfaction and preserve brand integrity.

AGMA welcomes any technology manufacturer, as well as persons or entities that own or hold intellectual property rights to finished goods outside the technology industry; product and service providers, government and law enforcement who provide goods and/or services to combat gray market fraud, counterfeiting and warranty and service abuse threats. AGMA uses a variety of avenues to cultivate change in the marketplace, including event speaking, educational initiatives, benchmark studies, industry guidelines, and, where appropriate, public policy advocacy. To learn more about AGMA's initiatives or to become a member, please visit www.agmaglobal.org.

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