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Fox Moves to Dismiss Redbox Suit

DVD kiosk renters sued Fox in August for copyright misuse and anti-trust violations.

The ongoing legal battle between the studios and Redbox took another incremental step Thursday, when Fox filed a motion in a Delaware District Court seeking to have the dollar DVD rental service’s lawsuit against it dismissed.

Coinstar-owned Redbox sued Fox in August for copyright misuse and anti-trust violations, claiming the studio doesn’t have the right to delay it from buying and renting its DVDs. (Redbox has also sued Warner and Universal for similar defensive measures).

On Thursday, Fox lawyers called Redbox’s suit “meritless,” and sought to get it dismissed based on several assertions.

Fox argued that it never actually refused to supply Redbox with its discs — it just hasn’t been able to come to terms with the rental kiosk company. Fox also argued that it’s not “injuring competition” by not making its titles available to Redbox on all the rental service’s terms – an important requisite to an anti-trust complaint.

Redbox shot back Thursday with a statement. “Fox continues its pursuit to prohibit consumer access to new-release DVDs at an affordable prices,” it read. “Redbox remains steadfast in our commitment to protecting consumers’ rights and to providing our customers the DVDs they want, where they want and at the low price they want.”

Stung by recently declining DVD sales, Fox, Warner and Universal have objected to Redbox’s business strategy, which they believe that – by offering consumers DVD rentals at only $1 a pop – devalues their products and cuts directly into their bottom line with no revenue-sharing offset.

All three studios have mandated that their wholesale distributors wait a certain period of time after release date (for Fox, it’s 30 days) before providing Redbox with titles.