Intertainer Inc. is accusing three major movie studios of conspiracy to fix
prices for digitally distributed entertainment.
The Culver City, Calif.-based provider of Internet-protocol-based
video-on-demand filed suit in U.S. District Court in California, accusing AOL
Time Warner Inc., Vivendi Universal and Sony Corp. of antitrust violations.
The suit alleged that the three studios have tried to control the
entertainment-content on-demand marketplace, hindering or delaying the
development of the broadband-content industry -- and, specifically,
Intertainer's VOD service -- so that they can establish Movielink, their own
Internet video-distribution service.
The three studios control some 56 percent of the motion-picture market and 63
percent of the music market, and they are trying to set Movielink up as a
monopoly, according to Intertainer.
In the process, the studios have delayed negotiations and have not reached
agreement to distribute their movies through Intertainer, according to the
'The actions taken by these leading studios will, in effect, eliminate
consumer choice, produce higher prices, reduce output and lower quality services
that would prevail in a competitive market,' Intertainer CEO Jonathan Taplin
said in a release.
Warner Bros. spokeswoman Barbara Brogliatti said she was familiar with the
suit but declined to comment. 'We have a policy that we never comment on matters
of litigation, especially those that are ludicrous,' she said.