Today's edition of 'yes they did/no they didn't' is brought to you by Wal-Mart, the New York Post and Reuters. As we knew, Wal-Mart is the largest DVD retailer (at least in America), with 40% of the market. Obviously, a player with that large of a stake in the game might not be too happy when a music download service with as much momentum as the iTunes Store announces movie downloads, and the New York Post printed a piece confirming just as much. According to the Post, Wal-Mart returned "cases and cases" of DVDs to Disney after suffering a panic attack over word of the iTS. Never one to stop at throwing product back in just one client's face, Wal-Mart then went on to throw a temper tantrum at the Hollywood studios, "overtly threatened to retaliate" by ordering fewer movies if they shook hands with the iTS. One has to wonder what happens when Wal-Mart doesn't get ice cream for desert.
On the other side of this coin, however, Reuters printed comments from a Wal-Mart spokeswoman, saying "we are not dissuading studios from conducting business with other providers." Setting aside the discussion of who competition truly benefits, a Disney spokeswoman also stated she was not familiar with the NYP claims, though Reuters failed to mention whether this spokeswoman has anything to do with the shipping department.
It's a twisted web these players are weaving, and we'll (do our best to) stay on top of who's saying what.