At the height of the dot-com boom, Amazon.com was supposed to be the answer to Toys "R" Us' long string of Internet blundering.
The two companies agreed in 2000 to jointly sell toys on Amazon, but the partnership soured in 2004, when Toys "R" Us accused the online retailer in a lawsuit of violating their agreement. On Thursday, Toys "R" Us announced that it had won its case and can now return to operating an independent store.
Toys "R" Us alleged in the suit that Amazon failed to honor the toy store's exclusive right to sell certain products. Back when the deal was signed, Toys "R" Us' decision to sell goods online via Amazon.com helped persuade dozens of other retailers and independent merchants to do the same.
Some of those retailers sell toys.
Amazon denied the accusations and made its own counterclaims that Toysrus.com broke the agreement by failing to stock enough top-selling items.
In 2000, analysts and Wall Street loved the partnering of a stalwart bricks-and-mortar retailer with a high-flying e-tailer. To that point, Toys "R" Us had stumbled badly adapting to the Internet. For instance, during the Christmas rush of 1999, the retail chain delivered gifts to customers' doors in some cases on Dec. 26.