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Millions of current and former Netflix customers woke up Wednesday to an e-mail about a class-action lawsuit involving the price of online DVD rentals.

It’s legit, and it’s the latest twist in a legal saga that started two years ago.

In May 2005, Wal-Mart and Netflix struck a pact: Wal-Mart would scrap its struggling DVDs-by-mail subscription service and instead encourage its customers to sign on with Netflix. In return, Netflix agreed to promote Wal-Mart’s DVD sales business.

But in 2009, a group of Netflix subscribers banded together and filed a lawsuit charging the two companies with collusion. The gist of their complaint is that the two companies agreed to carve up the market and stay off each others’ turf: DVD rentals for Netflix and DVD sales for Wal-Mart. The deal helped Netflix entrench itself as the market’s dominant player and raise its subscription prices, the lawsuit alleges.

Last year, a California judge certified the lawsuit as a class action, bringing Netflix’s entire subscriber base into the lawsuit. He has not yet ruled on the merits of the case.

Via: CNNMoney.com

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