It looks like Universal is finally willing to sit down with Redbox and discuss a possible settlement regarding the lawsuit Redbox filed last year.
Redbox sued Universal in October 2008 over new revenue-sharing terms they were imposing on kiosk operators, saying they violate anti-trust laws and misuse copyrights. The restrictions Universal wants to impose include not allowing kiosk operators like Redbox to stock their DVDs until 45 days after their release, limiting the number of DVDs allowed in each kiosk, and requiring the destruction of old inventory (instead of allowing it to be sold). Universal admits no wrong-doing and filed a motion to dismiss the case.
A letter filed by Redbox on Monday, Feb 23 with the US District Court in Delaware explains:
Defendants claim they are willing to engage in settlement discussions. Redbox is also willing to appear at an in-person settlement conference, without preconditions, and would accept a magistrate judge as a mediator of those disputes if the court thinks that result is appropriate. Redbox would not object to suspension of briefing on the current motion, if the Court deems it appropriate. Such a result might be appropriate in light of defendants’ stated position that the current disputes should be resolved through ‘business negotiations rather than litigation.’
There is no indication of how this is going to end up, but lets just hope that we as consumers don’t get the short end of the stick.