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Third of UAE businesses admit to buying counterfeit goods

HP research underlines challenge it faces in stamping out illegitimate product sales

Third of UAE businesses admit to buying counterfeit goods
Printer consumables remain one of the most heavily counterfeited categories. This picture is from a raid that HP carried out in the Middle East last year.

HP has shed new light on the extent of counterfeit product flow in the EMEA region after research it commissioned revealed that almost half of office purchasing managers admit buying fake products, including ink supplies and electronics.

HP also said that more than 50% of the companies it spoke to didn't have an active policy in place against the acquisition of counterfeit goods, with the figure as high as 72% in the UAE.

Amin Mortazavi, general managing of HP's imaging and printing group, said it was "disconcerting" to discover that the majority of businesses which opt for duplicate kit recognise the practice is wrong.

"It's encouraging to note, though, that those who avoid counterfeit products do so knowing that the quality of fakes is often deficient and the best experience comes from original products," he added. "We will therefore continue to inform clients throughout the region about the negative consequences that counterfeits can entail."

Out of the UAE business owners surveyed, 30% said they had bought counterfeit goods for use in their corporate environment, while a further 10% confessed to inadvertently purchasing counterfeit products under the impression they were genuine.

Additionally, half of the companies polled admitted that if they were actively seeking counterfeit goods they would expect to pay a 20% price discount on the brand name original. 20% of respondents, meanwhile, said a 5% saving would be enough to persuade them to buy counterfeit.

HP did not disclose how many businesses were surveyed for its research.

The vendor's dominance in the printer and consumables space makes it one of the biggest targets for counterfeiters. According to The Imaging Consumables Coalition of Europe (ICCE), sales of fake printing consumables in EMEA alone cost the industry US$40 billion a year.

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