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Justice Department opens review of Hollywood antitrust regulations

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Jim Gianopulos, chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures, addresses the audience during the Paramount Pictures presentation at CinemaCon 2018, the official convention of the National Association of Theatre Owners, at Caesars Palace on April 25 in Las Vegas.

NEW YORK >> Signaling that the antitrust regulations that have governed movie distribution for the last seven decades may be ripe for revision, the Department of Justice today opened a review of the famed Paramount Decrees.

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 Justice Department’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 Department of Justice 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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