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Toys ‘R’ Us faces antitrust investigation

BY CSA STAFF

Wayne, N.J. Toys “R” Us is being investigated by the Federal Trade Commission for alleged antitrust violations, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal on Saturday.

The retailer is facing an FTC probe into whether it used its market clout to stifle discounting by competitors and force consumers to pay higher prices for baby products.

Specifically, the FTC is looking into whether Toys “R” Us breached an 11-year-old FTC order to abstain from anti-competitive practices, WSJ said.

Toys “R” Us had agreed to the order in 1998, after an administrative law judge found it had forced major toy manufacturers to sell only so-called “value packs” of several toys or discontinued items to discount warehouse clubs such as Costco Wholesale Corp. Those practices prevented consumers from comparing prices and the quality of products and curtailed the effectiveness of the clubs as competitors, the FTC charged.

It was unclear whether the current probe would result in any enforcement action, the newspaper said; however, Toys “R” Us could face a fresh FTC complaint for allegedly attempting to fix prices of strollers, high chairs, car seats and breast pumps sold at Babies “R” Us, said the report.

FTC investigators are expected to review e-mails between Babies “R” Us and manufacturers.

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Best Buy wants to see your ‘scariest’ technology

BY CSA STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS Best Buy has launched a new Web site, inviting customers to submit photos of their “scariest” old technology for the chance to win a number of prizes.

Through Oct. 26, visitors to the Web site www.ScaryTechnology.com are encouraged to enter photos of their “scary” technology, from a VCR thats eat tapes to a screeching dial-up modem, along with a caption to bring the photo to life.

 

One grand prize winner will receive a home theater makeover from Insignia and Rocketfish, with complete Geek Squad installation (a total value up to $3,500). In addition one first runner up will receive a $1,500 Best Buy gift card, and one second runner up will receive a $1,000 Best Buy gift card.

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Destination Maternity re-launches Two Hearts line at Sears, Kmart

BY CSA STAFF

PHILADELPHIA Destination Maternity annonced that it is re-launching its Two Hearts Maternity by Destination Maternity collection exclusively at Sears and Kmart stores. The rollout of the Two Hearts collection began in early October and will reach approximately 523 Sears locations and approximately 100 Kmart locations by the end of the month.

The Two Hearts Maternity collection features dresses, swimwear, lingerie and sleepwear. Most items are priced under $25, according to the company.

 

The Two Hearts Maternity collection was previously offered in Sears stores from April 2004 through June 2008. The re-birth of the line, renamed to include the Destination Maternity byline, represents an opportunity to offer great fashion and value to Sears and Kmart Moms-to-be.

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