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Amazon, Warner Bros. Near Accord to Resolve DVD Dispute

June 23 (Bloomberg) -- Amazon.com Inc. and Warner Bros. are close to resolving a dispute that has kept customers from being able to pre-order movies from the studio, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

Home-video customers can now pre-order the DVD and Blu-ray version of “Transcendence,” due out in disc format from the Time Warner Inc. studio on July 22, according to the Amazon website. Seattle-based Amazon wasn’t accepting preorders of Warner Bros. films as it sought price concessions. The person, who asked not to be identified because the dispute is private, didn’t provide specifics of the talks.

Amazon, the world’s biggest online retailer, has been locked in disputes with media companies as it seeks to use its heft to impose better terms from its vendors. The company is in a standoff with Hachette Book Group over e-book pricing in a tussle that will help determine whether publishers can gain any leverage against the online retailer and biggest seller of e-books.

To increase pressure on Hachette, Amazon started delaying shipments and blocking some book pre-orders -- including big-name titles such as “The Silkworm,” J.K. Rowling’s new novel written under a pseudonym. The retailer later accepted orders and reduced shipping times for the book.

With Warner Bros., Amazon stopped accepting preorders to movies including “The Lego Movie,” “300: Rise of an Empire” and “Winter’s Tale.” The “Lego” film became available last week, ahead of its official DVD release this week. Customers can also order “300: Rise of an Empire,” and “Winter’s Tale,” both listed for official sale on June 24.

Movie studios typically delay the home-video sale of movies until several months after they appear in theaters. “Transcendence,” starring Johnny Depp, made its debut on April 18; “Winter’s Tale” in February and “Rise of an Empire” in March.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier that Amazon and Warner Bros. were close to resolution.

To contact the reporter on this story: Anthony Palazzo in Los Angeles at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net Reed Stevenson

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