Nov 18, 2019

DOJ will seek end to movie studio rules

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)

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DOJ scrutiny of tech could stretch beyond antitrust

Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images.

High-ranking antitrust enforcers, speaking at an influential D.C. legal forum, zeroed in on big tech companies' potential for anticompetitive behavior but also signaled they may take a broader approach to policing the industry.

The big picture: The Trump administration, Congress and state attorneys general are all investigating tech companies, including Google and Facebook, for antitrust violations. But they're also acknowledging that the laws governing competition may not be enough to rein in powerful online platforms.

Go deeperArrowNov 19, 2019

Netflix to reopen New York's historic Paris Theater in bid for Oscar qualification

Data: Motion Picture Association of America and Macrotrends; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

Netflix confirmed Monday that it would reopen the historic Paris Theater in Manhattan through an extended leasing deal.

The state of play: The news was first reported by Deadline, which also reported last week that the deal to keep the last remaining single-screen theater in Manhattan open was a 10-year agreement.

Go deeperArrowNov 26, 2019

Report: FTC considering Facebook injunction over antitrust concerns

Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

Officials at the Federal Trade Commission are weighing seeking a preliminary injunction against Facebook over antitrust concerns, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Where it stands: Such an injunction would seek to bar Facebook from integrating different products. Facebook also owns Facebook Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. A majority of the FTC's five member board would need to vote in favor of seeking an injunction in federal court.

Go deeperArrowDec 12, 2019