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Wal-Mart-Netflix deal focus of suits

February 05, 2009|Times Wire Reports

A series of lawsuits filed across the country allege that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Netflix Inc. benefited illegally when the world's largest retailer exited the online DVD rental business in 2005.

Lawyer Daniel Becnel of Reserve, La., complained in a lawsuit filed this week in Baton Rouge, La., that Wal-Mart and Netflix improperly negotiated Wal-Mart's departure from the online video market. He says the current rates are higher than they would have been if Wal-Mart had remained in the online DVD business.

When Wal-Mart quit the online DVD rental business, it converted its customers' accounts to Netflix accounts. Netflix then began promoting Wal-Mart and Walmart.com as places to buy DVDs.

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