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EU: Paramount dodges antitrust fines with pay-TV pledge

 |  April 24, 2016

Viacom Paramount Pictures is set to dodge antitrust fines after pledging to make changes in response to a European Union crackdown on Hollywood pay-TV contracts that help to carve up markets along national lines.

Paramount offered binding commitments to address EU concerns over deals that prevent pay-TV viewers in one country from watching films and shows intended for customers in other parts of the 28-nation bloc, the European Commission said Friday. The regulator said it’s seeking industry feedback before deciding whether to formally accept the pledge.

Walt Disney Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Brothers unit, Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal, and Sony Pictures as well as pay-TV giant Sky Plc are also embroiled in the EU’s competition case. Only Paramount has so far offered commitments, the commission said.

“Today’s agreement eliminates the possibility of fines,” Paramount said in a joint statement with Viacom. “The commitments permit Paramount to continue to license films through premium pay-TV output license agreements in Europe on an exclusive territorial basis.”

Full Content: The Wall Street Journal

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