Nov 18, 2019 - Economy

DOJ will seek end to movie studio rules

Makan Delhrahim

Makan Delrahim. Photo: Mike Cohen/Getty Images for The New York Times

The Justice Department will seek a court's approval to get rid of decades-old rules restricting how movie studios can distribute films, DOJ antitrust chief Makan Delrahim said Monday.

Why it matters: While the DOJ and FTC are investigating tech companies for anticompetitive behavior, Delrahim warned against hurting innovation by over-enforcing or putting in place strict rules that could outlive their usefulness.

How it works: The Paramount Consent Decrees from the late 1940s prohibited major movie studios from both distributing films and owning theaters without court approval, as well as banning practices such as setting minimum prices for movie tickets.

  • Delrahim said the rules no longer make sense in the current media landscape.
  • "Once innovation has occurred, however, it would be a mistake for antitrust enforcers to limit the potential for consumer-enhancing innovation," Delrahim said in a speech at the American Bar Association's antitrust forum. "We cannot pretend that the business of film distribution and exhibition remains the same as it was 80 years ago."

Go deeper: Justice Dept. reviewing movie licensing restrictions on the books for decades (Hollywood Reporter)

Go deeper