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Report: Macy’s in legal battle over Amazon sign

Macy's Inc. doesn't want an Amazon billboard on top of its most famous store.

The department store giant is in a legal battle to prevent Amazon from using a billboard on the Macy’s Herald Square flagship in New York City, reported the New York Times. Macy’s has filed a lawsuit in New York State Court against the billboard’s owner, Kaufman Realty Corp., to stop a potential deal with Amazon to use the billboard. The news was first reported by Crain’s New York.

In the lawsuit, Macy’s claims that any advertisements from a direct competitor would cause “immeasurable” harm to its business.

“The damages to Macy’s customer goodwill, image, reputation and brand should a prominent online retailer (especially Amazon) advertise on the billboard are impossible to calculate,” Macy’s said in court papers.

Macy’s had advertised itself for some 60 years on the 2,200-sq-ft.  sign, which wraps around a prominent corner of the building. The sign is very visible during the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which is watched by millions across the country.

In the suit, Macy’s alleged that Kaufman went into discussions with Amazon about the billboard before its lease agreement with Macy’s expired in August. Macy’s said its original lease on the billboard space included a provision that indefinitely barred other retailers from using the billboard for advertising.

“Macy’s continues to have rights relating to advertisements at that location,” a spokeswoman for Macy’s said in an email to CNBC. “We expect to realize the benefits of these rights and have asked the court to protect them. As the matter is in litigation, the company will not have any further comment.”

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