Movie theater chain AMC Entertainment won an antitrust case brought by iPic-Gold Class Entertainment, alleging AMC had conspired with another movie theater to keep iPic out of two Texas locations, under a ruling from the Supreme Court of Texas on Friday, January 14.
In a reversal of an appeals court ruling, the state’s highest court stated that the alleged collusion between AMC and Regal Entertainment Inc. to stop luxury movie theater iPic from screening first-run movies in Houston and Frisco was “implausible.”
The two alleged conspirators would have to endure losses for a long period of time, and each would have a strong incentive to let the other suffer losses, reported Bloomberg Law.
“The absence of any plausible motive to engage in the conduct charged is highly relevant to whether a genuine issue for trial exists,” said Chief Justice Nathan L. Hecht in the opinion.
The Court of Appeals, First District, had ruled in December 2019 that iPic had offered enough circumstantial evidence of collusion by AMC and Regal to go to trial. The trial court had previously granted summary judgment to AMC after Regal settled.
The high court rejected iPic’s claims that AMC and Regal used a film distribution joint venture called Open Road to conspire, because there was no evidence that the two movie theater chains ever communicated about iPic.
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