Judge dismisses suit against Blockbuster, Studios
Medialine.com reports that three independent video retailed who claimed that the company BlockBuster (video rental service) and the movie industry with conspiratorial revenue-sharing pacts have lost the case. The judge found there was not enough evidence.
After two weeks of hearing testimony from the plaintiffs’ witnesses, including studio executives, Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone and John Antioco, Blockbuster’s chairman and CEO, Judge Edward C. Prado granted the defense’s motion for dismissal.
Two of the plaintiffs in the case, John Merchant of 49er Video in Sacramento, CA, and Ronald Cleveland of Lone Star Video in San Antonio, have closed some or all of their stores since filing the suit. The third plaintiff, Dave Stevenson of Rome, NY-based The Big Picture Video, continues to operate his store in bankruptcy.
The three plan to appeal the verdict. They have also filed parallel complaints in a California state court against Blockbuster, Columbia TriStar, Paramount Home Entertainment, Viacom, Buena Vista Home Entertainment, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment and Universal Studios Home Video. A trial date had not been set at press time.
MGM Home Entertainment and Warner Home Video had settled with the independent retailers before the Texas court’s verdict for a combined $15 million.
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