Just like the consolidation in retail bookselling, where giant chains like Borders and Barnes & Noble drove independent booksellers out of business, the June 14 2002 NY Times reports that independent video store owners claim they were squeezed out of the market in the 1990s by unfair practices between the major studios and Blockbuster:
"Viacom chairman Sumner M Redstone takes stand in San Antonio as star witness representing Big Media in far-reaching antitrust case that pits owners of small video stores against some of world's largest entertainment conglomerates.
Plaintiffs, three owners of small video stores from Sacramento, San Antonio and Syracuse, say big film studios illegally conspired with one another and with Blockbuster in late 1990's and that Viacom essentially persuaded studios to sell videos at Blockbuster at prices far below those available to independent operators.
The Video Software Dealers Association, a trade group, has estimated that from 1998 to early 2001, about 2,500 video stores, or about 10% of the nation's total, went out of business. Since 1997, 8 of plantiffs' 10 stores have been sold or have gone out of business; Warner Brothers unit of AOL Time Warner and MGM unit of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, two of studios originally named in suit, settled with plaintiffs, agreeing to pay slightly more than $15 million between them."