Print 18 comment(s) - last by Spivonious.. on Jun 29 at 3:04 PM

Blockbuster and Netflix kiss and make up

The online battle between Blockbuster and Netflix has come to an end. The patent litigation the two companies have been involved in since April 2006 ended yesterday -- details of the settlement are considered confidential.

The dispute sparked when Netflix accused Blockbuster of copying its "method for subscription-based online rental that allows subscribers to keep the DVDs they rent for as long as they wish without incurring any late fees, to obtain new DVDs without incurring additional charges and to prioritize and reprioritize their own personal dynamic queue--of DVDs to be rented."

Blockbuster in turn filed a motion to dismiss the injunction brought forth by Netflix and filed an anti-trust case of its own against Netflix.

"As a result of NetFlix's purported monopolistic conduct, Blockbuster may be forced out of the market, which would cede to Netflix virtually complete control of the online-DVD market," said US District Judge William Alsup in August.

Blockbuster added more fuel to the fire during the 2006 holiday season when it gave Netflix subscribers free rentals in exchange for their tear-off address flaps.

"We want these movie fans to experience getting the movies they want without the wait so they never have to be without a movie, just like Blockbuster Total Access subscribers," said Blockbuster Chairman and CEO John Antioco during the promotion.

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RE: No wait?
By Alexstarfire on 6/28/2007 7:02:08 PM , Rating: 2
But it sounds like they aren't emulating, but rather directly copying it. While I don't believe that should be illegal, I also don't think it should be ethical. It's not like they freaking stole Bell's phonograph and said they invented it, but it's also not like they put in the time and effort into making something unique. Something as simple as a priority list is sure to be copied, as well as the no late fees. Now if they copied even the subscription styles and prices then......

RE: No wait?
By Oregonian2 on 6/28/2007 9:05:36 PM , Rating: 2
Actually the "no late fees" is kind of funny. It SAVES netflix money for people not to return discs. They'd LOVE it if people would just get their disc "count" and keep them forever. Because netflix is paid for by the month, they get the same revenue no matter what from a customer. The more times they have to send a DVD the higher their costs (handling and postage both ways). So the fewer times the better. Very unlike rental stores where the revenue is tied to number of rentals -- to blockbuster, making rentals short and often is a monetary advantage.

RE: No wait?
By omnicronx on 6/29/2007 9:48:20 AM , Rating: 2
i really hate the u.s courts and their leaning to any big corporation, because all this is going to lead to is blockbuster having the entire market as they have just a wiii bit more money up their sleeves.

we all know this is going to lead to blockbuster pushing everyone out of the market and not allowing anyone else in.
if thats not an antitrust concern i dont know what is.

netflix should have had the ruling gone their way as if the roles were reversed it most probably would have. seems like patents these days are only effective for the big companies and otherwise can just be bypassed in a single leap.

blockbuster get your own damn ideas!

RE: No wait?
By Spivonious on 6/29/2007 3:02:20 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, Blockbuster is/was losing money in millions because they couldn't figure out how to compete with Netflix.

I'm glad that they can now offer some serious competition to Netflix. Competition is good for the market.

“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads

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