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UPDATE: MGM Settles Out of Antitrust Case

21 May, 2002 By: Joan Villa

MGM Home Entertainment has confirmed reaching a settlement agreement with independent retailers in a federal antitrust lawsuit scheduled for trial June 10.

“We were previously able to satisfy plaintiffs that MGM would continue to deal fairly with them and based on that, we were able to reach a settlement which made sense to all parties in light of the substantial legal costs going forward,” explained MGM president and COO David Bishop.

The settlement would also cover more than 200 independent retailers alleging similar price-fixing and antitrust charges against the major studios and Blockbuster in a second case in Los Angeles Superior Court. No financial terms were disclosed.

The agreement was reached prior to a federal judge's ruling Friday that rejected several defendants' arguments to dismiss various antitrust and price-fixing charges. Instead, U.S. District Judge Edward Prado let stand charges of horizontal conspiracy between studios and vertical conspiracy between studios and Blockbuster.

As reported last week, Judge Prado did not rule on motions for partial summary judgment filed by MGM and Warner Home Video “because a settlement appears likely between those defendants and the plaintiffs,” he wrote. Warner reached an agreement with retailers last month reportedly worth $14.5 million.

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