Press Release

Open Markets: DOJ is Empowering Monopolists in the Media and Entertainment Industries

Washington, D.C. —- The following is a statement by Open Markets Executive Director Barry Lynn in response to a report that the Department of Justice will abolish the Paramount consent decrees, which sets movie distribution rules:

The Justice Department’s decision to lift the 1948 rules governing America’s movie and theater markets gives giant corporations like Amazon and Netflix license to buy up theater chains and use them to choke rival studios off from the market. The original “Paramount” consent decree for decades ensured an open and competitive market for films and documentaries, in ways that promoted the vibrancy of American arts and American democracy. The DOJ’s decision, coming atop its approval of Disney’s purchase of Fox, has created a market structure that serves only the biggest of the big and will stifle creativity, entrepreneurship, and free expression. Even Americans who never step foot in a movie theater will be harmed by this decision, as the result will be even greater control over all entertainment – including video games and television – by a few super-giant corporations. This decision also proves that Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust Makan Delrahim grossly misled the American people when he said he would engage in principle-based enforcement of America’s antimonopoly laws, including a tougher opposition to vertical integration by dominant platforms and network monopolies.

Press Contact: Stella Roque at Open Markets Institute, [email protected]