The Federal Trade Commission said Tuesday that Toys R Us, the largest U.S. toy retailer, agreed to pay $1.3 million to settle civil charges that it violated an agency order barring it from discussing its discount-chain competitors with its suppliers.
The FTC said between 1999 and 2010, Toys R Us violated the order by complaining via its Babies R Us subsidiary to several suppliers about the discounts other retailers were giving on baby products and requesting information about how companies supplied products to discounters.
The FTC said Toys R Us also deleted some emails of employees who left the company that it was required to keep.
The 1998 order came about after the FTC found Toys R Us used its position as the top U.S. toy retailer to stop toy makers from selling some toys to warehouse clubs.
That has not happened since, but the FTC said that Toys R Us did not comply with other parts of the 1998 order.
"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 A. Feinstein, director of the FTC Bureau of Competition.
"We are pleased that this matter is fully resolved and is now behind us," said Kathleen Waugh, spokeswoman for privately held Toys R Us, based in Wayne, N.J.