Redbox-Uni tiff escalates


Redbox, whose DVD kiosks are multiplying like fleas on a feral cat, has filed a response to Universal's motion to dismiss its lawsuit over the studio's refusal to supply its dollar-rental operations.

The Chicago-based retailer argues that Uni is violating antitrust provisions against monopoly behavior by not only denying Redbox the direct supply of DVD releases but also inhibiting disc sales by third-party distributors.

The filing casts doubt on speculation that the parties might seek an out-of-court settlement.

"Universal has wrongly interfered with Redbox's contractual relationships with VPD and Ingram," the retailer's response alleges, referring to a pair of product distributors.

In a separate section of the filing in U.S. District Court in Wilmington, Del., Redbox alleges that "Universal has also obtained the agreement of Best Buy and other retailers to cease or severely limit their sales of Universal DVDs to Redbox."

The Redbox response to Universal's motion to dismiss cites various copyright and antitrust statutes and appears much in line with its original complaint. (partialdiff)