India's biggest online e-tailer Flipkart has dragged Nikon India, the local subsidiary of the Japanese camera-maker, to court over an alert on Nikon's website that cautioned customers from buying its products from online sellers.
On June 14, 2014, Nikon had said on its site that e-commerce sites such as "Flipkart, Snapdeal are not our authorised partner/dealer". It further urged customers to "check warranty entitlements while buying from online portals," said a report in the Economic Times. Snapdeal, which had started as a Groupon-like site in 2010, is now among India's biggest online marketplaces.
The report quotes an unnamed source as saying that Flipkart took exception to being singled out in this manner because they are selling genuine Nikon products with warranty. The next hearing of the case is on August 21. Nikon and Flipkart declined to comment.
A Snapdeal spokesperson was quoted as saying that such advisories are unwarranted and "are against the principles of free trade and commerce."
Nikon was not alone in issuing such advisories in 2014. LG, Lenovo and Toshiba had done the same, ostensibly at the urging of traditional retailers who were losing sales to online competitors. Amazon and Flipkart had responded at that time, assuring customers that all products were genuine and carry the same warranties that are offered to customers elsewhere.