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US: DOJ opens review of Hollywood antitrust regulations

 |  August 2, 2018

On Thursday, August 2, the Justice Department (DOJ) announced it will review the Paramount Consent Decrees that have governed how studios distribute films to movie theaters for the last 70 years.

The 1948 landmark Supreme Court decision of United States v. Paramount, known as “the Paramount Decrees,” effectively ended the old Hollywood system, outlawing such practices as “block booking,” in which studios required theaters to book a bundle of their films. It was part of antitrust efforts to prohibit the major studios from also controlling the country’s movie theaters.

Makan Delrahim, assistant attorney general for the DOJ’s Antitrust Division, said Thursday that “much has changed in the motion picture industry.” Along with changes in theatrical exhibition, the corporations behind the major studios also own their own digital or television distribution channels.

The DOJ review will determine if the Paramount Decrees should be modified or terminated. It will begin with a 30-day public comment period.

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