Saturday, February 07, 2009
By Chris Tribbey | Posted: 05 Feb 2009
A third lawsuit filed against Netflix and Wal-Mart, alleging the companies conspired to create a monopoly for online video rentals, has popped up, this time in Louisiana.
Filed Feb. 2 in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana, the suit is nearly identical to ones filed Jan. 26 in Arkansas and Jan. 2 in Northern California, alleging that a 2005 agreement where Wal-Mart agreed to turn over its online DVD rental business to Netflix allowed Netflix to charge higher prices than it otherwise would have.
“This antitrust class action arises out of a conspiracy among defendants Netflix, Wal-Mart stores, and Walmart.com to divide the markets for the sales and online rentals of DVDs in the United States in order to avoid competition, monopolize, and illegally restrain trade in at least the online DVD rental market,” the suit reads.
Like the other two suits, the latest seeks unspecified damages, injunctive relief and court fees.
All three suits point to a January 2005 dinner between Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and John Fleming, then-CEO of Walmart.com, as the point where the agreement was reached.