Seven months into the legal debate in Canada. The monopoly on film distribution comes under investigation in the United States


Terrebonne (Quebec), February 9, 1999 The US Justice Department is currently investigating the monopoly of major Hollywood studios over film distribution. Jennifer Rose, spokesperson for the US Justice Department, confirmed this news at Reuters Press Agency in Los Angeles. She would give no details about the investigation. At the Hollywood studios under investigation, some spokespersons confirmed that a letter had been received from the Department requesting information about their business relations with the movie projection chains. Among the studios concerned are Sony Pictures Entertainment, 20th Century Fox, Loews Cineplex Entertainment, Paramount Pictures, Walt Disney Co., Warner Bros., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. and Universal Studios. A similar investigation is currently underway in Canada. In June 1998, Les Cinémas Guzzo, the foremost owner of independent movie theatres in Quebec, filed complaints with the Competition Bureau against Cineplex Odeon, Famous Players and various distributors. The Executive Vice-President of Cinémas Guzzo, Vincenzo Guzzo, is pleased to see that his initiative promoting the interests of independent theatre owners has now been taken up in the United States: The fact that the US Justice Department is investigating the monopoly on film distribution shows that irregular practices are actually being used in the movie industry. The points raised in the United States are the same ones we reported concerning our competitors. The monopoly enjoyed by Famous Players and Cineplex Odeon violates the federal Competition Act. It blocks the access of independent theatres to popular American movies, obstructs the opening of new theatres and limits distribution points for independent theatres, added Mr. Guzzo With the announcement of this American investigation similar to our own, I hope that independent theatre owners will at last be able to stand tall instead of being relegated to the sidelines by this damaging monopoly. Ultimately, consumers are the ones who pay the price. In the interest of the public, therefore, owners of independent theatres have to denounce illegal practices in the film industry”, ended Mr. Vincenzo Guzzo. Source: Cinémas Guzzo Tel.: (450) 961-2945 Renseignements: Catherine Hamel Everest Public Relations Tel.: (450) 686-9698

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