Redstone denies Blockbuster conspiracy

Associated Press reports that during more than four hours of testimony Thursday, Viacom Inc. chairman Sumner Redstone said Blockbuster Inc., a Viacom
subsidiary, worked aggressively to win customers away from smaller companies in
the video-rental market, but it did not orchestrate an illegal plan to drive
them under.

"We wanted to get as much business as we could, away from anybody. There's
nothing wrong with that, as long as we didn't do it in a wrong way," he said.

Three independent video retailers have sued
Blockbuster and some top Hollywood studios over an alleged conspiracy relating to how the large
retailer obtained videotapes.

The plaintiffs said
Blockbuster gained an improper competitive advantage as a result of deals that provided
it with more copies of coveted films at far lower prices.

Joining Dallas-based Blockbuster and Viacom as defendants are the home-video
divisions of Paramount Pictures, Columbia TriStar, The Walt Disney Co., Universal and 20th Century