March 8, 2005
According to the Associated Press, Amazon has been fined $18,000
for violating a court order, in a dispute with Toysrus.com.
It follows a lawsuit filed last year by the toy company, which accused Amazon.com of breaching an exclusivity agreement.
Toysrus.com, the internet subsidiary of Toys 'R' Us, sued Amazon.com in May. It alleged that Amazon.com had violated an agreement signed in 2000 stipulating that Toysrus.com would be the only authorised seller of toy, game and baby products on the Amazon.com platform – a deal for which Toysrus.com is reported to have agreed to pay $200 million.
The lawsuit accused Amazon.com of breaching the exclusivity part of the deal. In early June, Toysrus.com won an injunction, prohibiting Amazon.com from allowing other sellers to use the site for the sale of toys, games and baby products.
Amazon.com then filed its own lawsuit, asking the court to end the agreement and to award it $750 million in damages. According to press reports, it accused Toysrus.com of a “chronic failure” to comply with the contract terms by failing to have sufficient products in stock, and in failing to choose the top-selling toys.
In July, Amazon.com went to court again, arguing that the injunction would prevent it launching a new graphical user interface service in September, designed to allow smaller retailers to advertise their own products on the Amazon.com site.
As a result, according to the Associated Press, Judge Margaret M McVeigh eased the injunction a little – allowing the launch to go ahead on the condition that users did not sell those products offered by Toysrus.com on an exclusive basis.
The Associated Press now reports that Judge McVeigh has fined Amazon.com $18,000 for violating a court order, after the toy company complained that 46 products had been listed on the Amazon web site in breach of the exclusivity agreement.
The case is due to go to trial on 16th March.
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