Latest in Antitrust

Image credit:

Walmart vs. Netflix DVD battle snags $12 each for 1.2 million people

40 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

Ready for a blast from the past? Ten years ago, Walmart's plan to undercut Netflix on DVD-by-mail rental pricing failed, and the retail giant turned that part of its business over to the movie service in exchange for a cut of the revenue, referral bonuses and Netflix promoting Walmart's DVD sales to rental customers. A class action lawsuit against the two followed in 2009, with customers alleging they illegally restrained trade and kept prices high. Walmart settled the case for $27 million in 2011, which will turn into about $12 (paid out in gift cards or cash) for the 1.2 million people who filed claims. While the deadline to file has long passed, the payout has been held up due to appeals in the 9th Circuit Court in San Francisco against Walmart and Netflix -- until now.

This week judges ruled on a few items (PDF, via Courthouse News Service), including that the settlement was fair -- that the nine named plaintiffs get $5,000 each and a large portion went to lawyer's fees upset a few class action members. At the time even Netflix had objections, worrying that Walmart was simply buying access to its customer list. Another factor in the ruling is that Netflix never considered Walmart a true competitor (it actually raised prices at the time, and didn't lower them for competition, even from the much larger Blockbuster) the original ruling was correct, and subscribers could not prove they were injured by the tie-up.

It's not all good news for Netflix though, as the appeals court trimmed the $710k it was awarded for attorney fees, and turned down its request for $21,000 to cover B&W Powerpoint documents. Of course, soon a million or so people will probably be making it rain drizzle with their $12 payouts, Netflix is now primarily a streaming company with over 57 million customers that just delivered season three of House of Cards, and Walmart, well Walmart has the Vudu Spark dongle. All's well that ends well.

[Image credit: Associated Press]

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
40 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

Engadget's 2019 Back-to-School Guide

Engadget's 2019 Back-to-School Guide

View
Watch and listen to THX's new Deep Note trailer with spatial 3D audio

Watch and listen to THX's new Deep Note trailer with spatial 3D audio

View
Facebook loses Oculus executive who led its mobile VR efforts

Facebook loses Oculus executive who led its mobile VR efforts

View
YouTube is removing its direct messaging feature in September

YouTube is removing its direct messaging feature in September

View
Walmart sues Tesla after solar panels catch fire at stores

Walmart sues Tesla after solar panels catch fire at stores

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr