Balls-Mart or How the Greed Stole Christmas

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Co-Author: Howard @ The Web Pen

Ahhh, corporate GREED! It’s what makes America thrive. It’s also what stymies progress! In an article in today’s New York Post, it is revealed that Wal-Mart is putting pressure on the Movie Studios to steer clear of iTunes. They are rumored to have told execs that if they choose to put their movies on the new iTunes Store with movie downloads, that they will retaliate by pulling their DVDs from the shelves of Wal-Mart stores like a little spoiled child.

Would it not be great to see Wal-Mart execs poutingly pulling all the DVD’s off shelves and scrambling to fill it with Sheryl Crow’s self-titled album. Oh, wait, they pulled that, too, because she puts Wal-Mart in a bad light and yet, somehow against all of Wal-Mart’s efforts, she is still recording and making a good living at it. Maybe that’s why the liberal Crow and the conservative Lance Armstrong broke-up? Naw.

This isn’t the first time that Wal-Mart has gotten upset over iTunes. Last year Disney announced they were going to be adding some of their catalog of TV shows to iTunes. Wal-Mart allegedly returned many of the Disney DVDs in their warehouses to Disney because they felt that their sales would be threatened by selling the shows digitally. I believe Wal-Mart was reported as saying, “Waaaa! They are poo-poo heads!” but I could have misread that.

Well, now Disney has started selling movies on iTunes, and they are all alone. None of the other studios have signed on. This is rumored to be because of similar threats from Wal-Mart again.
It does seem that we are not alone. There is a documentary out about Wal-Mart’s tactics and the cost to the consumer.
With Wal-Mart contributing to $5 billion in DVD sales during the holidays, studios are obviously going to be cautious about losing out on these sales. Could this be the contributing factor to the Studio holdouts on the iTunes Store? Or is it simply a matter of the fact that Apple wants to sell the movies for less than the studios are willing to go? Wal-Mart has since disputed the claims in comments to Reuters. Stating that these claims are false and taken from previous printed claims.

Here’s the rub — America’s economy is based on capitalism. An idea, in theory, that is energized by healthy competition. This competition in turns drives people and companies to newer ideas of how and what to sell. Strong-arm tactics are not capitalistic. Well, in an ideal world anyway. Large and complacent (read: lazy) companies capitalize on their power to control. Much like the Mob. An idea, needless to say, not unlike Wal-Mart’s other motive operandi which are not very christian by definition.

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We may never really know what is going on, but Wal-Mart’s tactics and history of putting the little guy out of business lead me to believe that some of this pressure may be going on. If it is, it is a sad state that their greed would be allowed to get in the way of technological progress! I would hate to see Apple’s efforts to take this convenience to the next level like many other forward thinking ideas that have been pushed under the rug by big business, ie: the electric car. It does seem that we are not alone. There is a documentary out about Wal-Mart’s tactics and the cost to the consumer. I have yet to see it as I only just discovered it while researching this blog, but do plan on checking it out.

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3 comments on “Balls-Mart or How the Greed Stole Christmas

  1. If Wal-Mart pulls the DVDs that bring in $5 billion in sales, and Apple was selling everything Wal-Mart pulled, where are the consumers going to spend their money, I wonder?

    I never cared for DVD extras and previews anyway.

  2. Wal-Mart now owns ASDA here in the UK, a shopping chain known for cheap prices and enormously popular. I call it THE shopping destination for chavs. It has a complete absence of class when you shop there; like a trip to a really cheesy fast-food chain. Ugh.

    Bunch of Mormons running the show, I believe? They ran into trouble here in the UK in the past over discriminatory policies which they can’t get away with here. Of course, in the US, leading the world when it comes to Republican prejudice, you can say what you like against any community so long as they’re not Christian or, in the case of Mormons, pseudo-Christian.

    It’s very, very bad news that they’re trying to stop new markets developing but not altogether surprising that they seek to protect their interests and profit margins. Won’t work, though. The music companies were incredibly resistant to music downloads – still are, if one looks at the prices they expect us to pay while calling everyone pirates and taking children to court – but they’ve ultimately failed in trying to hold back technological developments.

    Of course, whether all aspects of the ongoing digital revolution are good – or further serve to undermine us in the long run, make us lazy and more easily manipulated – remains to be seen. What we see here are big businesses clashing with big businesses and the customer always suffers, though. That said, I’m happy for fat greedy execs of multinationals to shoot each other in the car park. Hell, I’ll even bring the popcorn if someone else arranges the cheerleaders rooting for the Freedom Coalition! x

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