Twentieth Century Fox has filed a motion to dismiss what it calls the “meritless” lawsuit that DVD rental kiosk company Redbox filed against it in August. Redbox is suing because Fox wants to impose release delays — essentially, giving itself time to sell more DVDs before the kiosk company rents them for $1 a pop — and accused the studio of copyright misuse and violation of anti-trust laws, among other things. In its filing, Fox claims that there are three reasons why Redbox has “no viable legal case:”
— It hasn’t refused to supply Redbox with DVDs — the two companies just could not agree on pricing and other terms.
— Fox could have chosen to keep all its movies out of Redbox’s kiosks once the negotiations fell apart, but it didn’t. Instead, it told third-party distributors to wait 30 days after a DVD release before they could sell it to Redbox
— Antitrust law does not require a seller to make its product available to a buyer on all the buyer’s terms (price, distribution channel, or date); it’s only applicable if the deal terms “injure competition.”
Redbox is suing Fox, Universal and Warner Bros. over the release window delays. A judge most recently dismissed the kiosk rental company’s claims of copyright misuse and contract interference against Universal — but he let the bigger anti-trust claim stand. It appears that Fox is trying to get out in front of its own potential anti-trust problem from the onset.