SparkFun and Fluke aren't even in the same league though, their customer bases are completely different. that's like saying Ferarri giving Chevrolet 30 cars to do with as they wish because of a mix-up on something that cost chev 300 cars, and Ferarri out of the goodness of their hearts (aka for good PR) gives them free cars, suddenly those 30 ferarris are going to reduce demand of Chevs?
of course not. the Market for people who buy Ferarris, is not the same as the guys who buy Chevs. same with the guys who buy Fluke Meters, and Cheap Chinese Meters... two completely different markets, two completely different price points. Why would I pay $400+ for a Fluke Multimeter when I can get a cheap one for $9.99 that meets my needs? And the other side of the coin, why pay $9.99 for one that doesn't meet my needs when I need the features and functionality of the $400+ Fluke? Two completely separate markets, now the higher end will always have the PWTMM (people with too much money) who go Meh, I can afford the $400 Fluke, I'll buy that instead of the $9.99 one, even though I'll only ever use 1% of what the cheap one can do, and way less than what the fluke can do... They are competitors in the same way Ferarri competes with Chevrolet. Someone who wants a Ferarri isn't going to consider a Chevrolet, and a guy looking at Chevrolet, is going to look longingly at the Ferarri, and then buy the Chevrolet, because he can't afford to have a car worth more than his house.
Yeah SparkFun lost a lot of money. It's not going to bankrupt them though, and they were willing to eat the loss, and they sell other products as well. All this does, is probably ends up giving them a charitable tax deduction for donating them to schools and other charitable organizations, which will help them a little bit with the loss of money come tax time. Also, this whole incident has brought them into a lot more people's minds, I personally have never heard of them. Now I know they're a electronic hobbyist company. I'm not their target market, although to be fair I have always wanted a fluke multimeter, just never wanted to pay the price for one.... I'm using my $9.99 Canadian Tire brand multimeter for all my multimeter needs. But if I were and hadn't heard of them, now I have. maybe I'd even send some business their way because I know they exist.
Also why would selling them damage their line of business? Which as near as I can tell is as a cheap knockoff reseller targeting hobbyists getting into the hobby, based on previous comments about their other product lines being cheap knockoffs too. It may open them up to a new market as a reseller for Fluke. Assuming they could strike a deal with Fluke to continue to be able to sell Fluke products. I highly doubt it's a slap in the face, nor was it intended as a slap in the face. you really have to reach to get there from what fluke did. Especially when they didn't HAVE to do anything since they didn't DO anything other than apply and get a trademark many years ago...