Netflix subscribers to get $1 back in DVD price abuse settlement

Are you a current or former Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) subscriber? If so, you'll be getting a piece of the $27.5 million Walmart has agreed to pay to settle allegations it and Netflix worked in concert to drive up prices to rent or buy a DVD.

But, don't get too excited... your payout is likely to be $1--or less-and will be offered to anyone who's subscribed to the service between May 9, 2005 and Sept. 2, 2011. The actual final number, payable in cash or Wal-mart gift cards, will depend on how many subs, who have until Feb. 14 to opt out of the settlement, accept it and how much of a chunk the attorneys take.

The lawyers, of course, are likely to see a bigger payday. They're asking a federal court to pay them $6.9 million of the settlement, 25 percent, as well as $1.7 million in costs.

The settlement, approved in September, goes to a U.S. District Court judge March 14 for final approval.

The case was based on Walmart's decision to abandon the DVD-by-mail rental market in May 2005 and turn its subscribers over to Netflix. Netflix, in turn, agreed to promote Wal-Mart as a place to buy DVDs.

Netflix, meanwhile, is set to go to court Jan. 23 to fight the allegations, unlike Walmart, which decided to settle the suit quietly without admitting wrongdoing.

For more:
- see this AP article

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