Dropping Redbox Over Antitrust

I just upgraded my Netflix account, and I’ll no longer use Redbox, the DVD vending service that I’ve used at the local McDonalds.*

A few days ago I learned about “Redbox’s antitrust case against several major studios.” Redbox is seeking to force the terms by which studios sell videos, and that is wrong. A contract properly involves the voluntary consent of both parties. Redbox is trying to replace voluntary consent with political force.

And Redbox will not get another dollar of mine until it drops its antitrust suits. I called Netflix, on the other hand, and was assured by customer service that Netflix is not involved in any antitrust actions.

Redbox relates:

Redbox Files Federal Lawsuit Against Warner Home Video
For Immediate Release: August 19, 2009
Oakbrook Terrace, Ill. – Redbox Automated Retail, LLC, filed suit in Delaware Federal Court against Warner Home Video on Tuesday, August 18, 2009, to protect consumers’ rights [sic.] 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. …

Federal Court Rules redbox Can Pursue Antitrust Suit Against Universal Studios Home Entertainment
For Immediate Release: August 17, 2009
Oakbrook Terrace, Ill. – The United States District Court for the District of Delaware announced today that it has denied Universal Studios Home Entertainment’s motion to dismiss the antitrust lawsuit filed by redbox. …

The Obama administration has signaled that it will ramp up antitrust persecutions. Predictably, various unscrupulous business have sought to take advantage of this by trying to get the federal government to step on competitors and suppliers. This is wrong. Businesses should respect private property and voluntary trade, not try to override people’s rights with political force.

* I just called McDonalds corporate and was told that that its contract with Redbox has ended, so it’s unclear to me whether any or all Redbox machines will be pulled from McDonalds locations. My local McDonalds still has an operating machine. Redbox also operates out of select local Walmarts and grocery stores. Update: I just learned from a local King Soopers manager that Redbox will expand into some of those stores.

One thought on “Dropping Redbox Over Antitrust

  1. Allen

    Not that it justifies it but could this be a play by RedBox to counteract demands by providers for a bigger cut of the rental fees? IIRC the studios were fishing for new revenue with DVD sales taking a big hit.

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