Fox files motion to dismiss Redbox's lawsuit

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - News Corp’s Twentieth Century Fox on Thursday filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought against it by kiosk leader Coinstar Inc’s Redbox, which has claimed Fox tried to bar it from renting newly released films.

Redbox, which rents out films for $1 per night at more than 17,000 automated kiosks around the United States, has accused Fox and other studios in lawsuits of trying to stop wholesalers from supplying new titles to Redbox.

Sources familiar with the litigation said that Time Warner Inc’s Warner Home Video was also planning to file a motion soon to dismiss a similar lawsuit against it by Redbox.

Warner declined comment.

In addition to Fox and Warner, General Electric Co’s Universal is also involved in litigation with Redbox over disputes involving distribution of newly released titles.

Studios have accused Redbox of depressing DVD prices and depriving them of the kind of revenue-sharing options they have with traditional video chains like Blockbuster.

In a statement on Thursday, Fox called Redbox’s legal claims against it fatally flawed.

“Fox’s filing today makes clear that, in the end, the case is all about Redbox’s refusal to make a business deal on general terms similar to those paid by others in this industry,” said Fox in a statement.

Fox said it spent months trying to negotiate a deal with Redbox that offered varying terms to provide DVDs directly to Redbox but the parties could not agree on price and other terms, even though the studio offered Redbox terms similar to those accepted by other customers.

Redbox president Mitch Lowe said in response to Fox’s filing on Thursday that he was confident in the company’s legal position.

“Twentieth Century Fox continues its pursuit to prohibit consumer access to new release DVDs at affordable prices,” he said.

“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,” he said in a statement.

Meanwhile, other studios like Viacom Inc’s Paramount, Lions Gate Entertainment and Sony Corp Sony Pictures Home Entertainment have struck distribution deals with Redbox.

Reporting by Sue Zeidler; Editing by Phil Berlowitz