Federal judge approves ending consent decrees that prevented movie studios from owning theaters – TipsClear

Federal judge approves ending consent decrees that prevented movie studios from owning theaters – TipsClear

A federal judge has approved the Department of Justice’s efforts to end paramount consent decisions – 70-year court orders that prohibit movie studios from engaging in a variety of anticompetitive behaviors, including owning movie theaters.

US District Court Judge Analista Torres cited the rise of streaming services like Netflix One of the reasons for his decision:

Motion picture distributors, who are not subject to districts, have entered the market since 1940 – most importantly, The Walt Disney Company, the leading film distributor with $ 3 billion in domestic box office revenue in 2018 … Other The motion picture is not subject to distributors. The decisions include Lionsgate (20 films in 2018), Focus Features (13 films), Roadside Attractions (12 films), and STX Entertainment (10 films). … Any of the Internet streaming companies – Netflix, Amazon, Apple and others – who produce and distribute the films are subject to decisions. Thus, the remaining defendants are subject to legal constraints that do not apply to their competitors.

It is unclear whether the decision will have any effect on large streaming services. Torres accepts the argument that even when dicrosse did not apply to a given studio, they “still serve as a yardstick of acceptable behavior, exerting a cascading effect on the actors in the industry, which for them Not a party. “

But it is difficult to imagine anyone in 2020, thinking that theatrical business has seriously a good idea. Domestic attendance was declining even before the COVID-19 pandemic was forced to close.

Netflix and amazon There has been some interest in owning cinemas before this. Amazon was reportedly undergoing a takeover in the Landmark Theater series a few years ago, and rumors that it could acquire AMC sent stock shootings of the theater series earlier this year – but no takeover was announced , And meanwhile AMC appears to have stabilized its finances.

Meanwhile, Netflix signed a long-term lease for New York City’s Paris Theater last year, and may also be interested in Egyptian theater in Los Angeles. However, these seem less like the first steps of a broader theatrical strategy and more and more like deals designed to make it easier to access the venues they use for fancy premieres and other screenings Can do for

The ruling may have real implications in other areas, such as the abolition of restrictions on block booking and circuit dealing (after two years of sunset). Without those restrictions, studios could potentially require cinemas who want access to a lucrative franchise title for screening of their less popular films.

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