May 10, 2007 – Los Angeles, New York – LAWFUEL – The Law Firm Newswire – On May 2, 2007, the California Superior Court granted summary judgment on the last remaining claims against Viacom and Sumner Redstone, and Viacom’s former subsidiary, Blockbuster, in what has been a nearly eight-year succession of antitrust litigations. This litigation, which alleged that the major Hollywood studios and Blockbuster had conspired to give Blockbuster favored terms for the motion pictures it rented in its video stores and to disadvantage all of the independent home video stores in the United States by not giving them comparable terms, started as a putative class action in Texas state court in 1999.
We removed the case to federal court in San Antonio and tried the claims to a jury for nearly three weeks until the court dismissed the claims at the end of plaintiffs’ evidence. The Fifth Circuit affirmed; the Supreme Court denied cert. In 2001, Plaintiffs filed a virtually identical case in California state court in Los Angeles. The California court denied class certification and later granted summary judgment, which plaintiffs appealed. The Court of Appeal affirmed the dismissal of the core antitrust conspiracy claim, but reversed on a price discrimination claim. The most recent decision has dismissed those remaining claims as to Viacom, Sumner Redstone and Blockbuster, represented by Simpson Thacher; the case continues against the co-defendants.
The Simpson Thacher team included Ken Logan, Kyle Lonergan, Deb Stein, John Anderson and Steven Frankel.