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The lawsuit Redbox filed last year against Universal is finally winding its way through the legal system. Yesterday a U.S District Court judge from Delaware made a ruling on Universal’s request for dismissal. The ruling has both Universal and Redbox claiming victory.

Robert Kugler, a U.S. District Court judge for Delaware, granted the dismissal of two of the three counts against Universal in the 10-month-old lawsuit but denied Universal’s motion to dismiss the antitrust claim altogether, according to court records.

While it is good for Redbox that the case wasn’t dismissed entirely, I don’t see this ruling as a great one for Redbox. Certainly they would have liked to have had a chance to argue all of their claims in court.

“We appreciate the Court’s thoughtful review of this issue and look forward to pursuing our claim and protecting our consumers’ rights,” Mitch Lowe, president of Redbox, said in a statement late yesterday.

So, not much excitement coming from the Redbox camp. Here is what Universal had to say:

“Universal is pleased that the Court today dismissed two of the three claims asserted by Redbox and appreciates that the claims made by Redbox are now reduced significantly,” the studio said in a statement late yesterday. “As was the case prior to the Court’s ruling, Universal maintains that its actions have been consistently lawful, and will vigorously defend the remaining claim in this case.”

Blah, blah, blah. Nothing too exciting there, either. It appears this ruling will at least get Redbox their day in court, but definitely takes some steam out of their lawsuit.

[via videobusiness]

36 Responses to “Redbox vs Universal: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back”

  1. Member [Join Now]
  2. Visitor [Join Now]
    FoxWins [visitor]

    Redbox is done. The case has been narrowed, and Redbox pathetically claims a victory when the majority of its claims were thrown out and when a single claim was merely not dismissed. What a bunch of clowns.

    More evidence of Redbox’s weak legal position is that Redbox just launched a pathetic website in order to wage a PR campaign. If you can’t win in court, I guess you launch a website and put out PR.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      FalconFour [visitor]

      “clowns”. What a great way to make it plainly obvious that you’re one of those old, senile movie execs that just don’t get it. Congrats.

      p.s.: troll is trolling hard

  3. Visitor [Join Now]
    Bratpack [visitor]

    FoxWins is absolutely wrong. The two counts dismissed in the lawsuit were minor issues. The major issue, of Universal refusing to supply Redbox with movies is still in front of the court and will be heard. This is a major victory for Redbox and for their customers. I’m tired of these companies who make billions each year trying to take more than their fair share. Universal, Fox & Warner will all lose and dvd rental customers, whether Redbox, Netflix or whoever, will win in the end. I fully expect Netflix to file a lawsuit against Warner any day for the same thing Redbox has sued for.

  4. Visitor [Join Now]
    FoxWins [visitor]

    Winning a motion to dismiss is a “major victory”? What a fool.

    Filing a motion to dismiss is like saying that the case has absolutely zero merit. So congratulations Redbox, you met the very minimum threshold required so that your case will merely proceed and be heard by the court.

  5. Visitor [Join Now]
    JJJ [visitor]

    Sounds like the **main point** is going to move ahead “claiming Universal is engaged in anti-competitive practices by denying the movie rental company–and by extension consumers–with newly released DVDs”.
    So this is good news for Redbox, a Judge who sees this type of stuff all the time is showing that Universal may have done something wrong.
    And in my opinion, if they are giving everyone else the DVDs on release day, they are being anti-competitive and it is a antitrust violation.
    I think it’s pretty clear. They either have to give them to everyone on time or make everyone wait 30 days, they can’t just pick on one particular company that they don’t like for some reason.
    You just can’t do that kind of stuff no matter how big of a company you are.
    The other stuff “copyright misuse” and “tortious interference” might apply, but they aren’t the main issue.
    It’s also possible that Redbox could appeal the other claims anyway, so it ain’t over yet!
    Why don’t they teach some basic law in high school?

  6. Visitor [Join Now]
    FoxWins [visitor]

    Next you guys will be talking about death panels. To keep people honest and to prevent the liars from making up “major wins” for Redbox, here’s a primer on motion to dismiss.

    A motion to dismiss ASSUMES all alleged facts to be true. In other words, if everything that Redbox says is true, is there a legal case? Of Redbox’s three claims, two were tossed out because Redbox’s claims had zero legal merit assuming that everything it alleged is true.

    A single issue can move forward, because IF EVERYTHING REDBOX SAYS IS TRUE, then it might have a legal case.

    Now that Redbox has met the minimum legal threshold, it can move forward to trial, where the court will hear evidence from both sides.

    This is a nonissue and if anything a loss for Redbox. That’s why Redbox has resorted to PR and a pathetic website.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      Chris [visitor]

      Are you really quoting Wikipedia as your basis in a argument?

      You can’t want to be taken seriously if you quote Wikipedia as a Reliable an Unbiased source.

      I would NEVER take legal advise from Wiki

      Without resorting to Insulting you I will say that this is still a victory for Redbox as much as it is for Universal. Both sides have a reason to claim victory.

  7. Visitor [Join Now]
    Shannon S. [visitor]

    FoxWins, if all you have to say is negative things about Redbox, then why are you on here? Do you work for Fox?

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      Bratpack [visitor]

      No, Foxwins is a 12yr old kid who is pissed ‘cuz he can’t rent dvds without help from mommy. Its okay Foxwins, Spongebob is coming out next week. Get your sippy cup and your blankie and sit in front of the tv…

  8. Visitor [Join Now]
    Jim [visitor]

    If by chance Universal, Fox, or Warner should lose in litigation, all they would have to do is revert to the old days of VHS pricing, set up a 90 day window for ALL rental outlets, & charge ALL rental outlets higher prices for their products, and then offer the DVD’s for sale to the general public after the 90 day window.

    • Administrator
      Michael [administrator]

      There is a good reason they stopped doing that, though. They make a lot more money now by selling to the public earlier. Hence, they would never go back to that system.

      It really is part of the same problem, though. Studios are complaining that people who might normally buy a DVD no longer do, and instead go to Redbox and rent it for $1 (or free), thus taking money from the studio. Now, whether or not this is actually the case is debatable, but certainly the studios have less revenue now than they used to. I think a little thing called a “recession” may be more to blame, though.

      • Visitor [Join Now]
        Jim [visitor]


        One studio (Paramount) is already going to test it, although on a crappy title (Dance Flick), coming to rental outlets on September 8th. It is priced at a higher dollar amount through the wholesalers, and it is not going to be put out for sale to the general public until early 2010.

        Summit is also doing the same thing with the title ” The Brothers Bloom”.

        I don’t think it will have an effect until a studio does it on a Mega-Hit. ( Didn’t want to say a “Blockbuster” ).

        I don’t have a dog in this hunt, but I’m an independent video rentailer in small town America. There are no national rental chains nor are there any Redboxes in my town. Just a fellow trying to eke out a living.


        • Visitor [Join Now]
          Jim [visitor]

          Paramount is also going to do it with “Imagine That” (Eddie Murphy) on October 6th. Rental pricing only for 4 or 8 weeks (They haven’t decided yet.), & then will be offered for retail sale after that.

  9. Visitor [Join Now]
    Sean J [visitor]

    I think sometimes people join websites just to be fussy and make think that their opinions count. FoxWins is just exercising his/her right to free speech, albeit poorly informed and mostly full of shameless plugs for other studios. No one is really paying attention anyway, let him/her ramble.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      Movie King [visitor]

      Right you are Sean. Most of the meaningless responses are sadly “Yeah!”, and “I agree” silliness that pollute the web. Just the need to be heard anyway they can. This guy has a deeper need to be heard. As I neither have stock in Redbox or Fox, my response is “Who cares?” Competition will sort the whole thing out. If Fox or Redbox disappear someone will come along to take their place.

      • Visitor [Join Now]
        Elle NC [visitor]

        Amen. Free markets will rule. Now or later. Ours is such a global economy now that these studio ‘giants’ will bow down in the end. They will be forced to play the game in this competitive market.

  10. Member [Join Now]
    NickJensen [nickjensen]

    Could it be that Redbox is being targeted because the number of rentals of each individual kiosk DVD disk is much higher than the number of rentals for each NetFlix or Blockbuster DVD disk. So the total disks sold to the rental market is droping for a given number of viewings. Of course, this neglects the fact that thousands of people wouldn’t choose to rent so many disks if the price was higher or the conveinence was lower.

    So even though a studio charges the same price to RedBox for the DVD, because each DVD is seen by so many more people, the Studios may believe that revenue generated for the number of viewings has been seriously reduced by the Redbox business model.

  11. Visitor [Join Now]
    Bobby [visitor]

    Shannon S, FoxWins can expresses whatever on the other side of the fence to be fair. But I thing I know is FoxWins works for Blockbuster, since Redbox has increase renters while BB and HV decrease and closing shops around town.

  12. Visitor [Join Now]
    FoxWins [visitor]

    Why the personal attacks? Just because I refer to Redbox renters as cheapos? It wasn’t a negative judgement on my part, but simply my opinion that without the $1 pricing Redbox would be much less appealing to a certain kind of consumer, the same kind of consumer who shops at 99 cent stores and visits discount theaters.

    Witness the 2,000 comments left for the free Blu Ray player. Cheapos are as cheapos do. And you people represent the cheapo segment.

    Redbox HAD a good model, one that was subsidized by the studios offering wholesale prices. But there’s no law that forces studios to offer wholesale prices to Redbox. The offer was simple: Pay us more money or wait 30 days. Otherwise you can buy at retail like everyone else.

    In an unsubsidized market, Redbox will simply have to find a new model. $2 on day 1, or $1 on day 30.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      Queen Shopper [visitor]

      I may be a “cheapo” and not want to spend a ton of money on renting a DVD, But in this economy how many people can say they have paid off 4 cars and a home and have 6 months savings. I can but until you can say that, you should be cheep!! I personally love redbox and netflix! I hope they win every lawsuit they have. There are a lot of people right now who are hurting very badly right now because of the economy. So don’t come on here with your nose up in the air like you are so much better because you can afford to buy a $15-$20 DVD!

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      FalconFour [visitor]

      How about this. I’ll put up a contest for a free Blu-Ray player (there’s a hyphen in there, in case you didn’t know), and pick a winner. Then, you can buy the player for the contest prize, since you think only cheapos would want a free one. That sound about right?

      Dear god, you’re worse than the trolls that were rooting for McCane last year.

  13. Member [Join Now]
    ChadCronin [chadcronin]

    If the Studios like Universal don’t want my money, that’s fine, I’ll give it to Sony and Lionsgate and people who want it via the method I am prepared to pay for it by. I only see them losing more money as a result. It’s actually started to leave a bad taste in my mouth and I actually deleted some of these companies titles from my Amazon wish list.

  14. Visitor [Join Now]
    Bobby [visitor]

    There’s really no personal attacks, just comments. Subsidized? What Subsidized? If a buyer buying in large quantities, suppliers will reduced cost at wholesale. i.e) Wal-Mart, the reason why their prices are the best pretty much all across the board. If you are not cheapo, please provide those 2K comments with each with a Blu-ray Player and stop caring about how Redbox operating its business. Business is Business in America and Legal, Right?

  15. Member [Join Now]
    lakrow [jbromert]

    I have to say, people like FoxWins (a troll) only want recognition, good or bad, because they have no life (look at how much time he has to post essentially the same comment over and over again). Ignore him. If you don’t play his game and give him the recognition he craves, he’ll likely go elsewhere. I’m here because I like to use my money wisely, as I’m sure the rest of you do – “A penny saved is a penny earned” (Ben Franklin). Only fools throw their money away.
    I know I said ignore him, but if he’s so rich and anxious to throw money away, I’ll take some. I know a good deal when I see one. How about it FoxWins?

    – Live by the word, die by the word

  16. Visitor [Join Now]
    jre110872 [visitor]

    sadly, the real loser in all of this is an EXCELLENT DVD wholesale distributor called VPD, Inc. They are an excellent distributor and provide all DVD’s for redbox, dvdexpress, dvdnow operators (like me), netflix, etc. they have basically, for now, lost the opportunity to sell hundreds of thousands of dvd copies to redbox (and all other kiosk owners), or have the studios pull their distribution rights for noncompliance. it’s too bad for them. the studios are simply trying to raise the operating expenses for all kiosk operators…and it will work. redbox is so large that they will no doubt have to either accept smaller profits due to increased operating costs (which their venture capitalists aren’t likely to accept), or raise their price point. even though i own a small kiosk business myself, i got into this business b/c i liked (and still like) redbox. i think we’ll likely see redbox go up to $1.49/night or 1.99/night, but i still think that beats the heck out of going to a “brick and mortar store.”

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      B & M [visitor]
      I work with VBG. To find out why this is important, click here.

      I think at $1.99 I’d rather go to a Brick and Mortar that offers more and I don’t have to stand in line behind a bunch of people Twice for extended periods of time.

      • Visitor [Join Now]
        Sean [visitor]

        Definately. Sorry Redbox, but if the price goes up, I go away. $1.50, or even $2.00 might SEEM cheap, but considering it’s only for one night, it’s a lot more than brick and mortar stores. Especially with blockbusters no late fees program.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      Sean [visitor]

      Too bad wholesalers can’t get on redboxes side in this fight and not buy at all, or sell to anyone unless the studios treat redbox right. Since it’s hurting them too. But that is way too drastic.

  17. Visitor [Join Now]
    Jim [visitor]

    NOW IT’S WARNER’S TURN!!!!!!!!!

    Their litigation expenses are going to be huge!

    Redbox(R) Files Federal Lawsuit Against Warner Home Video
    Press Release
    Source: Redbox Automated Retail, LLC
    On Wednesday August 19, 2009, 9:47 am EDT
    Buzz up! 0 Print.Companies:Coinstar Inc.
    OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill., Aug. 19 /PRNewswire/ — Redbox Automated Retail, LLC, filed suit in Delaware Federal Court against Warner Home Video on Tuesday, August 18, 2009, to protect consumers’ rights to access new release DVDs. Redbox filed the action in response to new distribution terms imposed by Warner Home Video that would prohibit redbox from providing consumers access to Warner Home Video titles until at least 28 days after public release.

    Related Quotes
    Symbol Price Change
    CSTR 31.31 +0.08

    {“s” : “cstr”,”k” : “c10,l10,p20,t10″,”o” : “”,”j” : “”} “Warner Home Video’s actions come at the expense of consumers,” said Mitch Lowe, president, redbox. “Redbox remains committed to providing our customers the new release DVDs they want, where they want and at the low price they want. Standing behind our commitment, redbox will continue to offer our consumers access to all major new releases including Warner Home Video at our more than 15,000 locations nationwide.”

    A number of studios also have shown support for redbox. Last week, redbox signed a multi-year distribution agreement with Lionsgate. A similar distribution agreement with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) was reached in July. “Redbox continues to forge winning relationships with a number of studios that increase studio exposure, ensure redbox customers receive access to more titles and support redbox’s commitment to providing consumers timely, convenient and affordable access to new release DVDs,” said Lowe.

    For more information on redbox’s commitment, visit, a site dedicated to educating the public on redbox’s effort to protect consumers’ rights against studio action.

  18. Visitor [Join Now]
    Sony? [visitor]
    I work with VBG. To find out why this is important, click here.

    Does Sony have 20% market share of movies? Might be a big reason for all of this.

  19. Visitor [Join Now]
    Mike [visitor]

    I don’t understand the movie studios logic in this at all. Redbox is actually a good deal(Dollar a day), Blockbuster’s is not (3 dollars a day and most of the time new releases are two day rentals). I don’t actually buy too many dvds and in this economy that seems like less and less people are likely to do go out and buy them either. I don’t have to rent their dvds if their going to make them to expensive for what your getting.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      Sean [visitor]

      Huh? Blockbuster $3.00 a day?? Two day rentals?? Am I missing something here?

      • Member [Join Now]
        Mark [rb123456789]

        Blockbuster seems to vary rental terms all over the place depending upon the judgement of the local management/franchisees. I have seen it characterized as market testing, but essentially corporate has given up trying to figure out what will work and left it up to others. Unfortunately not many people realize this and post about their local BB as if it’s true everywhere.