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Toys'R'Us spits dummy at Amazon exclusivity deal

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Toys'R'Us is taking Amazon.com to court, claiming the bookseller violated its exclusive right to sell toys on the Amazon.com site. Toys'R'Us is seeking either damages to be determined at the trial, or the cancellation of the agreement and the return of the $200m it says it has paid in exclusivity fees.

ToysRUs said the agreement with Amazon was that it would be the only supplier or partner authorised to sell toys on the Amazon site until 2010. In spite of this, the suit alleges, Amazon sold and allowed third-parties to sell products agreed as exclusive to Toys'R'Us, the Financial Times reports.

"We expect Amazon.com to respect its contract with us... especially since we pay a very high fee to maintain this exclusivity," Toys'R'Us lawyer David Schwartz said.

Amazon dismisses the allegations as lacking merit. A spokeswoman for the company argued that it was offering products not available from Toys'R'Us, and that this was consistent with its contractual commitments.

"We are relentlessly focussed on increasing selection for our customers," she said. "Among other things we believe we can have multiple sellers in the toy category, and offer products that Toys'R'Us does not have."

Mr Schwartz said that Toys'R'Us was happy to compete with other vendors, but that "we are not willing to pay for exclusivity we are not receiving". ®

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