* 1998 order had barred chain from asking about discounts
* FTC charged Babies R Us had violated 1998 order
* Toys R Us pleased to have resolved complaint
(Adds company comment)
WASHINGTON, March 29 Toys R Us [TOY.UL] has
agreed to pay a $1.3 million penalty for violating a 1998 order
that barred it from pushing suppliers to refuse to sell to
competitors or from urging limits to those sales, the Federal
Trade Commission said on Tuesday.
The FTC said in a complaint that Toys R Us subsidiary,
Babies R Us, had asked suppliers what they were charging
discounters and complained to them about discounts that other
retailers were giving consumers, the FTC said.
The 1998 order had barred Toys R Us from asking about
discounts and required it to keep records of communications
with suppliers if they related to sales and distribution. The
FTC also said that Toys R Us failed to keep those records.
"Although we did not find evidence that Toys R Us entered
into agreements with the suppliers that violated the order, the
penalty here underscores the importance of parties complying
fully with all of their order obligations," said Richard
Feinstein, director of the FTC's Bureau of Competition.
Toys R Us spokeswoman Kathleen Waugh said: "We are pleased
that this matter is fully resolved and is now behind us."
Industry data issued last month showed that for the first
time in a long time, toy stores took market share from mass
market discounters in the latest fourth quarter.
Several manufacturers have talked about the growing clout
of the world's largest dedicated toy retailer, which has filed
to raise up to $800 million through an IPO. [ID:nN16290972]
The retailer was taken private in 2005 by Kohlberg Kravis
Roberts & Co [KKR.UL], Bain Capital and shopping center
operator Vornado Realty Trust (VNO.N) in a $6.6 billion deal.
(Reporting by Diane Bartz with additional reporting by Dhanya
Skariachan; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Tim Dobbyn)