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US: Landmark theaters hit with antitrust lawsuit again

 |  September 27, 2017

Mark Cuban-owned Landmark Theatres is being accused of “hypocritical” conduct in an antitrust lawsuit filed on Wednesday, September 27, by a group of independent community movie theaters who complain about being deprived of art films.

The lawsuit, filed in DC federal court, alleges that Landmark is coercing agreements from film distributors. With operations in 22 major metropolises nationwide, Landmark is alleged to be using its nationwide market power to obtain exclusive licenses for speciality films.

The court action follows a lawsuit that Landmark itself brought in January 2016 against Regal Entertainment. In that case, Landmark similarly asserted that a bigger power had used its footprint to coerce film distributors like Sony, Lionsgate and Disney. The case, one of many over so-called “clearance” pacts in the movie industry, was settled in August 2016.

“Just as Landmark sought relief from Regal’s anticompetitive clearances with respect to Commercial Films (and succeeded), Plaintiffs seek relief from Landmark’s exploitation of its circuit power to demand and obtain clearances from distributors against Plaintiffs for Specialty Films,” states the newest complaint from West End Cinema, The Avalon Theatre Project, the Denver Film Society and Cinema Detroit.

Full Content: Denver Post

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