Recent developments have confirmed that the representatives of the online retail giant, Konga.com, shall be bringing legal actions against Rocket Internet (owners of Jumia.com) This is because of their alleged registration of the Konga domain name, by Rocket, in several other countries.
Now, these domain names were registered in June 2012, only a month before the official launch of Konga as an online retail company. This is an interesting piece because; the competition (Jumia) had already begun operations by then. Here lies the problem, the registration of the other Konga domain names in the various countries could create a difficulty for Konga peradventure they decide on expanding internationally. This act of making the ‘Konga’ domain names unavailable in these countries could be termed ‘first blood’, drawn by the competition in the massive struggle for dominance in the business.
Since inception, Konga and Jumia have been locked in a cold war for dominance of the online retail business. Using domain names and other techniques, each has been trying tirelessly to knock out the other. As a result of this feud, this report of domain name registration gives one reason to question intent.
In January 2013, there were reports that Konga registered and redirected theURL: jumai.com.ng back to their homepage. This was said to have been done in consideration of the common misspellings by clients of the name Jumia as Jumai. While the URL has since been brought down, its initial existence is an indication that Konga is not taking the competition lightly.
Wisely, Konga has since decided not to pursue things on their own anymore, but use legal action to retrieve the domain names in the ten countries where they were registered.
So far, response from Rocket Internet Africa’s CEOs Jeremy Hondora, and Sacha Poignonnec on this issue is still pending. Below is the list of Domain names registered by the Rocket Internet Group.
- Cote d’ivoire- Konga.cd
- Cameroun- Konga.cm
- Libya- Konga.ly
- Mauritius- Konga.mu
- Morocco- Konga.ma
- Seychelles- Konga.sc
- Saint Helena- Konga.sh
- Kenya- Konga.co.ke
- South Africa- Konga.co.za
Hopefully, things will be worked out smoothly with these boys, as this brings to mind, on 1st of June 2012, a similar report of registration of the domain name iROKOtv.com. The World Intellectual Property Organizations decided that it was created in bad faith and was confusingly similar to original owners iROKOtv.net, and as such took it down.