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EU: Film industry criticizes Paramount’s antitrust deal

 |  April 27, 2016

Paramount Pictures has offered concessions to the EU in a high-profile probe into the film licensing practices of the six Hollywood studios in Europe.

Representatives of the European film industry have sharply criticized Viacom’s Paramount Pictures for offering concessions to European regulators in an ongoing antitrust case involving all six major Hollywood studios.

Paramount last week became the first studio to offer the European Union a deal in exchange for the European Commission dropping the probe into the studios’ European film licensing deals.

But Alfred Holighaus, president of German film industry body SPIO, slammed the deal as a threat to the European film industry.

The Commission filed an antitrust complaint last summer, accusing Paramount, Disney, NBCUniversal, Sony, 20th Century Fox and Warner of illegally restricting customers’ access to content within the European Union in their licensing deals with Sky UK, part of pan-European pay TV giant Sky. 21st Century Fox owns a 39 percent stake in Sky.

Paramount’s offer to the Commission would see the studio agree to allow Sky UK to sell its licensed Paramount films to customers from outside the U.K. and to let pay TV companies outside Britain, which have deals with Paramount, to offer their films to UK customers.

In essence, it would break down territorial boundaries between European countries, something the Commission is pushing for as part of its strategy to create a digital single market across Europe by 2017.

Full Content: Hollywood Reporter

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