Wal-Mart threatened by iTunes movie downloads

Wal-Mart isn’t happy with Apple’s plans to sell full-length movie downloads through the iTunes Music Store, going as far as sending executives to Hollywood to dissuade studios from signing distribution deals with Apple. Wal-Mart’s campaigning has so far reportedly deterred the major studios from partnering with Apple because of the retail giant’s weight in the industry. “As the largest seller of DVDs, Wal-Mart accounts for roughly 40% of the $17 billion in DVDs that will be sold this year, a financial lifeline to big-spending studios,” reports BusinessWeek. Wal-Mart is also seeking marketing help from the studios for its own planned movie download site, and wants Hollywood to cut the current wholesale price for DVDs so it will be able to match the reported $14.99 price point that Apple is targeting for new releases. BusinessWeek says its sources point to a mid-September launch of the iTunes movie downloads.

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