Amazon at the Friday night dump…

June 15, 2009

Late Friday, Amazon (AMZN) took a trip to the SEC filings dump and filed this 8-K announcing it had finally settled the five year-old lawsuit with Toys R Us for $51 million. The filing was just one sentence, but because the settlement “substantially all of which was unanticipated” in Amazon’s words, the stock is down so far this morning.

We first footnoted that lawsuit nearly three years ago, picking it up in a Toys R Us filing. At the time, Amazon had sought to move the case to Washington state, where it is based, as opposed to New Jersey, where Toys R Us is based and the legal maneuvering continued over the past few years.

Then, in Amazon’s most recent 10-Q filed on April 24, it disclosed that an appellate court had sent the case back to trial court to award damages and that Toys R Us was seeking $93 million, which Amazon said was “grossly overstated”. Back in April, Amazon gave indications that it planned to continue fighting, so the $51 million settlement is a bit of a surprise.

Left unsaid, or perhaps hard to really calculate, are the legal fees over the past five years involved with this long drawn out case. How much did Amazon spend trying to fight this case? That number is no doubt buried in the SG&A and we’re betting it was pretty sizable.

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