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TOYS `R' US COULD FACE U.S. ACTION

Federal trade officials have recommended that antitrust action be taken against Toys "R" Us Inc., the nation's largest toy retailer, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Federal Trade Commission staffers have suggested that charges be filed against the company either in the form of a lawsuit or an administrative complaint, the Journal reported, quoting sources close to the case.The federal commission has questioned executives of the company about allegations it pressured manufacturers not to sell some toys to rival retailers, especially discounters.

Toys `R' Us officials were unavailable for comment.

The FTC declines comment on its investigations.

Toys `R' Us accounts for more than 20 percent of the $19-billion-a-year U.S. retail toy business.

The commission began a broad probe of the industry two years ago, exploring whether prices had been kept artificially high, the Journal said.

Toys "R" Us Chairman Michael Goldstein has said his company had done "nothing wrong," according to the Journal.

Toys `R' Us currently operates 653 toy stores in the United States, 337 international toy stores and 213 Kids `R' Us clothing stores. It is based in Paramus, N.J.