United States: U.S. District Court Rules For Blockbuster
Last Updated: November 7 2002

Issued on June 28, 2002

Dallas – June 27, 2002 – After hearing two weeks of testimony, the United States District Court in San Antonio, Texas, has ruled in favor of Blockbuster Inc. (NYSE: BBI) and motion picture studios and ordered a directed verdict at the close of the plaintiffs’ case, dismissing a lawsuit brought by three independent video retailers, who complained that they had been excluded from receiving the benefits of revenue sharing agreements Blockbuster entered into with motion picture studios.

"This is a vindication of Blockbuster’s strategy that makes customer service a priority," says Rob Walters, who is the co-managing partner for Vinson & Elkins in Dallas, an expert in antitrust law, and lead counsel in the Blockbuster case.

Adds Blockbuster Chairman and CEO John Antioco, "This ruling is confirmation that Blockbuster has competed fairly and honestly. At no time did the studios or Blockbuster exclude any other video retailers from revenue sharing arrangements. Everything we’ve done has been in the interest of the consumer and this judgment bears that out."

"The fatal flaw in the plaintiffs’ case is that the conspiracy alleged by the plaintiffs never happened," added Ed Stead, Blockbuster Executive Vice President and General Counsel. "We are grateful Judge Prado was willing to dismiss this case at this early point in the proceedings."

In his ruling, Judge Edward Prado found that after considering all the evidence presented by the plaintiffs, there was insufficient evidence on all claims. He rendered judgment in favor of all defendants and dismissed the case.

The case challenged Blockbuster’s revenue sharing agreements with the motion picture studios that allowed Blockbuster to satisfy customer demand for new release movies.

Blockbuster Inc. (NYSE: BBI) is a publicly traded subsidiary of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B) and is the world’s leading renter of videos, DVDs and video games, with more than 8,000 stores throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia. The company may be accessed internationally at blockbuster.com. Viacom is a leading global media company, with preeminent positions in broadcast and cable television, radio, outdoor advertising, and online.

Vinson & Elkins

Vinson & Elkins is a multi-disciplinary law firm with extensive experience worldwide. Established in 1917 Vinson & Elkins has more than 835 lawyers practicing in Austin, Beijing, Dallas, Houston, London, Moscow, New York, Singapore and Washington, D.C. For complete information on all of our areas of practice visit the Vinson & Elkins web site at www.velaw.com

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