Sunday, June 1, 2008

BRU Faces Antitrust Suit

A federal judge refused to dismiss two antitrust suits that accuse Babies R Us of conspiring with a group of manufacturers of "high-end" baby products to set minimum resale prices in an effort to eliminate competition from Internet retailers.

The first suit was filed by two Internet retailers, BabyAge and BabyClub, that states their efforts in the market to gain a footfold was stopped when Babies R Us "persuaded" several manufacturers to insist on minimum retail prices. A second suit has similar allegations and is on behalf of a proposed class of consumers claiming that they have paid inflated prices for high-end baby products because of these minimum retail prices.

District Judge Anita B. Brody found the plaintiffs in both cases "had alleged a valid theory and had pleaded facts to back up their theories sufficient to survive a motion to dismiss."

Defendants named in both suits include Toys R Us Inc., the parent company of Babies R Us, and seven manufacturers: Britax Child Safety Inc.; Peg Perego USA Inc.; Medela Inc.; Maclaren USA Inc.; Kids Line; Regal Lager Inc.; and Baby Bjorn AB.

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