Wal-Mart threatens retaliation against Hollywood studios if they sell movies via Apple’s iTunes

“Worried about its massive DVD sales, retail behemoth Wal-Mart has told some of Hollywood’s biggest players it will retaliate against them for selling movies on Apple’s iTunes,” Tim Arango reports for The NY Post.

“Last year when Disney announced it would begin offering episodes of the hit shows ‘Lost’ and ‘Desperate Housewives’ on Apple’s iTunes, the reaction of the world’s largest retailer sent shockwaves through the entertainment industry,” Arango reports.

“Wal-Mart, worried that offering the shows for viewing on iPods would cut into DVD sales at its stores, sent ‘cases and cases’ of DVDs back to Disney, according to a source familiar with the matter,” Arango reports. “Now, following Apple’s entrance in to the business of selling full-length films for download, the battle between Hollywood and its largest client is getting uglier, as studio executives say Wal-Mart has overtly threatened to retaliate if they go into business with Apple.”

“The last thing studios want to do before the holiday shopping season is to offend their biggest sales outlet; the studios, collectively, rely on Wal-Mart for some $5 billion of DVD sales in the fourth quarter,” Arango reports.

“But several weeks ago, in the midst of rumors that Apple was close to announcing a deal with Disney, Wal-Mart’s David Porter – the executive responsible for stocking the retailer’s shelves with DVDs and CDs and whose influence is so immense in Tinseltown that he’s been named to Premiere magazine’s annual power list – made the rounds of Hollywood studios,” Arango reports. “His message, according to a studio exec involved in the discussions: that there would be ‘serious ramifications’ if the studios hopped in bed with Apple.”

“‘They threatened to hurt us in terms of buying less products,’ said this person. The situation between Bentonville and Hollywood has gotten so heated and so high-level that Jobs recently phoned Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott to ask him to moderate his stance, according to a source,” Arango reports.

Full article here.
Even a low-class anticompetitive cancer like Wal-Mart won’t be able to hold back the future. Wal-Mart logic: we can undercut every business in every town in the world, but you can’t do it to us. If you agree with that logic, by all means shop at Wal-Mart.

WAL-MART: The High Cost of Low Price: http://www.walmartmovie.com/

Related articles:
Wal-Mart: we’re not fighting iTunes Store movie downloads – September 23, 2006
Wal-Mart not happy with looming threat of Apple iTunes movie downloads – August 31, 2006
Wal-Mart loses ‘philosophical argument’ with Apple CEO Steve Jobs, gains top-selling iPod – November 29, 2005

113 Comments

  1. Oh, poor baby, did little Wally-mart feel an oww-eee. What a frigg’n crock. Hey WM, just stock up some more picture frames, bed pillows and a few more cases of motor oil, y’all ought’a be able to find something to sell if Apple takes the wind out of your DVD sales, you freak’n loser! I’ll never shop at Walmart again.

  2. This depends on the % of a studio’s total DVD sales that are via Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart has successfully been able to force suppliers of other goods to change because they represent such a huge % of that supplier’s total sales. I believe MDN is correct regarding the long term, but this could be a factor that slows growth of iTS (iTunes Store) movie sales. That’s a bad thing, but the influence of Wal-Mart is some monopoloy-era shit. Don’t underestimate it.

  3. Walmart is evil in every way. They ruin businesses and land. I love when they bulldoze trees and nice land to put a super Walmart right down the street from a couple year old one, you really gotta love that. The way they make our economy so nice.

  4. I posted this on another venue:

    I’m taking all bets against Wal-Mart. Hollywood, for all their deficiencies, does know on which side their bread is buttered, and they aren’t going to let the distribution model of the 20th Century hold back the distribution model of the 21st.

    Wal-Mart’s threats are empty. They are struggling to show quarterly increasses in same store sales. Over the past 30 months (2 1/2 years) Wal-Mart’s stock has declined 20% in value, dropping from $60 to $48 today. They will not throw away $5 Billion in quarterly revenue to spite Hollywood.

    Disney’s iTunes revenue will inure Hollywood from these hollow threats.

  5. Wal-Mart can go screw themselves. They only sell censored music and movies anyway. So much for the customer being the boss, eh? It will be a great day when these sorts of repressed, faux-moraliastic losers no longer control what we see, hear, and purchase — and again, Apple leads the way…

    v-word: normal

  6. Bravo to MacDailyNews for linking to the OUTSTANDING DOCUMENTARY “Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price”.

    This movie shows the FACTS on how Wal-Mart is one of the most evil corporations in the history of the world — doing irreversible damage to human beings, neighborhood communities, our environment, and other businesses. Wal-Mart is a truly evil corporation.

    If you haven’t yet seen the movie, please rent it immediately:

    Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price
    http://www.walmartmovie.com

    Wal-Mart is right up there with Monsanto and the oil companies as one of the most evil companies of all time.

  7. These are the actions of a company that is SHIT SCARED of the future.

    Lets face it – in 10 years time no one will be buying dvds/cds from stores, all music, movies and games will be downloaded.

    The X-box is a case in point, computer games makers will be putting their games on a server and u will download them to the x-box.

    Even Walmart cannot stop progress, and looking at the amount of sales Disney has had in only 1 week means that walmarts days are numbered.

    Walmart do not have the expertise or ability to compete with Apple or any other movie download service and they know it too.

    Welcome to the future of retail Walmart!!

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