updated 11:40 am EDT, Fri September 29, 2006
Wal-Mart, Apple talk
A new report says that Wal-Mart may be looking to Apple to gain a piece of the digital movie industry profits, while at the same giving Apple access to movies titles from every major studio. Wal-Mart is reportedly negotiating with Apple to offer iTunes coupons/gift cards that would allow it to collect a small amount of revenue from iTunes video sales, according to Variety. The talks come following industry reports of threats by Wal-Mart to the major Hollywood studios--many of which were flatly denied by the world's largest retailer; however, Wal-Mart did say that it expects to be a major player in the evolution of the digital marketplace, and that studios mustn't undercut the price of DVDs in its stores, according to the report.
Apple already sells gift cards through other retailers such as Best Buy, Target and Amazon.com, but not at yet Wal-Mart, one of the nation's largest sellers of iPods. Any agreement would be mutually beneficial as it would help to eliminate resistance against iTunes from major movie studios outside of the Disney network, which have been loathe to anger Wal-Mart by supporting movie sales that would significantly undercut Wal-Mart in price.