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Wal-Mart Netflix Class-Action Settlement

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Wal-MartIn 2005, Wal-Mart and Netflix made a deal. Wal-Mart would kill its DVD rental subscription service and push customers towards Netflix. Netflix wouldn’t sell DVDs and would instead tell folks to go to Wal-Mart. It was a win-win deal for both companies. It was a lose-lose deal for customers and those familiar with collusion and anti-competitive practices will know that something like this just isn’t going to fly. Competition brings down prices and so the argument is that without Wal-Mart keeping Netflix in check, DVD rental subscription prices wouldn’t be as low as they “normally” would. You know what’s next – lawsuits!

Class action lawsuits were filed against both companies and last year Wal-Mart settled (Netflix is still fighting). If you live in the United States (and Puerto Rico) and paid a subscription fee to Netflix anytime between May 19, 2005 and September 2, 2011, you are a member of the class. Visit the settlement website for more information but here is the claim form. You have until February 14, 2012 to file a claim.

Unfortunately, the settlement was for $27,250,000 and 25% goes to to the laywers. An additional $5,000 for each class representative and there will also be fees and costs deducted. Then, divide that by everyone who files a claim (which will be many) and chances are we’ll all get cash or gift cards worth about a nickel. 🙂

(Photo: alphageek)

{ 10 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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10 Responses to “Wal-Mart Netflix Class-Action Settlement”

  1. echidnina says:

    Yeah, it’s a shame that because of the number of people involved and the cuts people take, most people who were affected won’t actually get much/anything. I recently got an email about a Ticketmaster class action case – I think I’m going to be getting a $1.50 voucher towards my next Ticketmaster purchase, which I probably won’t even use.

  2. I wonder if it will hurt Netflix stock when their settlement is reached. $27 million to Wal-Mart is a drop in the bucket. Anxious to see what the settlement actually amounts too! Hopefully at least enough for a free Netflix rental!

  3. Strebkr says:

    A nickle is a nickle 🙂

    • daenyll says:

      must agree, may not be much but it’ll still be that much more than I have today

      • Strebkr says:

        I signed up for a Visa/MC/Amex class action suit years ago for improperly calculated fees related to foreign purchases. I figured maybe I would get a few bucks out of it. Just yesterday, my wife and I each received a check for close to $20 each!

        • tbork84 says:

          That’s a good point. It never hurts to get some skin in the game, when the game is free to enter and only has upside for those entering.

  4. freeby50 says:

    There are supposed to be about 25 million people in the class. Many/most won’t file claims. For the credit card settlement Strebkr mentions only about 1/3 claimed and that originally was for $25 minimum (later reduced).

    I’m guessing this will end up worth $1-2 per claim.

    • Strebkr says:

      @freeby50 – do you mean the Wal-Mart Netflix class action will only be $1-2 per claim?

      I would have gone for the cash claim on that one, but you had to mail it in. You could do a gift card claim online so I opted for that.

  5. Strebkr says:

    This has been a really weird week, but yesterday my wife got a check for $0.03 cents in an eBay class action suit related to fees in a specific category.

    Again, I don’t remember signing up for that one, but oh well. I hope I didn’t have to waste a stamp to mail something in for that claim.


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