Netflix Customers May be Eligible to Receive a Cash Payment or Gift Card from a Class Action Suit Involving Netflix and Wal-Mart- Outdated!
Summary of eRumor:
An email from OnlineDVDclass.com says that if you were a Netflix subscriber between May 19, 2005 to September 2, 2011 you may be eligible for compensation from a class action suit involving Walmart and Netflix.
It’s true that some Netflix subscribers may be eligible to receive a portion of a settlement from a class action lawsuit involving Netflix and Walmart — but the deadline to file claims has already passed.
The settlement applies to those who subscribed to a Netflix mail order DVD rental plan between May 2005 and September 2011. The deadline to file a claim was in February 2012, however, so anyone who has not already done so won’t be eligible for a cash payment.
Back in 2009, a class action lawsuit was filed against Walmart Stores Inc., Walmart.com USA LLC and Netflix alleging that the companies had violated anti-trust law.
The companies entered into an agreement that sent all of Walmart’s mail order DVD rental subscribers (yes, Walmart briefly had a DVD rental service) to Netflix. In exchange, Walmart promoted Nextflix on its website and received 10% of revenues from its former subscribers and a $36 “bounty” for every new subscriber that came through Walmart’s website, according to the lawsuit filed against Walmart.
The class action lawsuit filed against Walmart and Netflix alleged that the agreement “reflected an illegal allocation of the online DVD-rental market.” Both companies were also accused of “conspiracy to monopolize the online DVD-rental market.”
Walmart reached a settlement in 2011, and a judge dismissed the case against Netflix. After years of appeals and legal rangling, the settlement reached in the Walmart case was finally made final in February 2015, according onlinedvvdclass.com.
Terms of that settlement were negotiated back in 2011. Walmart was ordered to pay $27.25 million in cash and gift cars to settle the lawsuit, but about 25% of that was to be set aside to pay for attorney’s fees. The suit’s lead plaintiffs, the Netflix subscribers who brought the original complaint, were to receive $5,000 each. The remaining money would be set divvied out to remaining Netflix subscribers who filed a claim before February 2012, CNN Money reported back when the settlement was finalized.
It’s not clear how many Netflix subscribers filed a claim to receive a slice of the settlement, but the company had about 24 million subscribers who would have been eligible by the end of September 2011.
So, it’s true that some Netflix subscribers are eligible for a cash or gift card payout — but it’s too late to claim it unless you filed a claim back in 2012. Those who did file a claim on time were expected to receive their payout on November 5, 2015.
A previous version of this story was published on 11/17/11:
The lawsuit is real. It is against Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Walmart.com USA LLC and Netflix, Inc. It seeks money on behalf of current and former Netflix subscribers is real. It has not yet been settled and notifications as to where to file a claim form have been sent out to Netflix customers by email. Additional information on the lawsuit and how Netflix customers may collect was put up on the Internet at http://www.OnlineDVDclass.com.
According to this site, plaintiffs in the class action suit claimed that the two companies reached an unlawful agreement under which Wal-Mart would stop renting DVDs online and Netflix would not sell new videos on DVD.
The deadline to submit a Claim Form is February 14, 2012 and it can be done over the Internet or by requesting a form by calling 1-877-389-4469.
As a matter of safe Internet practice, readers should manually type the URL into your web browsing software instead of clicking the link in emails to avoid a possible redirection from a scammer.