In 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 )