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US: AMC antitrust suit can move forward

 |  January 2, 2019

An antitrust lawsuit against the movie theater chain AMC Entertainment  will be allowed to move forward, the US District Court of the District of Kansas ruled December 27.

AMC uses its dominant market position to force movie distributors to give it exclusive licenses to play movies, thereby stifling competition, rival Cinetopia claims.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Kansas, focuses on Cinetopia’s location in the Overland Park development Prairiefire. The lawsuit claims that after Cinetopia rebuffed AMC’s offer to buy the Prairiefire location in 2013, AMC obtained exclusive showings of blockbuster films including “Godzilla,” “Million Dollar Arm,” and “The Good Dinosaur.”

Cinetopia claims AMC’s practice, known in the industry as “movie clearance,” torpedoed Cinetopia’s business prospects in Overland Park.

The Cinetopia lawsuit points to other instances in which it’s alleged that AMC exerted pressure on competitors through movie clearance. An example cited in the lawsuit is a 2010 instance in which AMC allegedly used movie clearance against Studio Movie Grill in the Northland area of Kansas City, prompting Studio Movie Grill to close and leave AMC’s Barrywood 24 complex as the only theater in the area.

Full Content: Bloomberg

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