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Federal judge approves ending consent decrees that prevented movie studios from owning theaters

A federal judge has approved the Department of Justice’s efforts to end the Paramount Consent Decrees — 70-year-old court orders that prevented movie studios from engaging in a variety of anticompetitive behaviors, including ownership of movie theaters.
U.S. District Court Judge Analisa Torres cited the rise of streaming services like Netflix as one of the reasons for her decision:
Motion picture distributors that are not subject to the Decrees have entered the market since the 1940s — most significantly, The Walt Disney Company, the leading movie distributor in 2018 with about $3 billion in domestic box office revenues … Other motion picture distributors not subject to the Decrees include Lionsgate (20 films released in 2018), Focus Features (13 films), Roadside Attractions (12 films), and STX Entertainment (10 films). …None of the internet streaming companies — Netflix, Amazon, Apple and others — that produce and distribute movies are subject to the Decrees. Thus, the remaining Defendants are subject to legal constraints that do not apply to their competitors.
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