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eToys sees losses rise in Q3

It's been buying customers at $40 a pop

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Struggling e-tailer eToys saw losses rise for the third quarter, leaving it with just enough cash to last until the end of March.

The debt-ridden online toy merchant, which earlier this month said it would lay off 700 of its 1,000 staff and shut its European business, recorded a net loss of $85.8 million for the period ended December 31. Sales totalled $131.2 million against $106.8 million.

It spent almost $39 million on advertising in the same quarter, acquiring new customers at the equivalent of $40 a pop, the Los Angeles company said yesterday in a statement that included no comment from any of its directors.

eToys creditors have agreed to hold off demands for debt repayment until January 31 to give management time to try to cobble together a recovery plan.

And just when the dotcom thought things couldn't get any worse, a group of international artists called etoy have decided to sue eToys over its name.

Talk about kicking a man when he's down - the group has filed a suit in the US District Court of California in San Diego alleging trademark infringement. etoy claims it got there first, and that eToys has no right to use the name. Although quite why an artists' collective would want to call itself etoy remains a mystery. ®

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