Belgium Regulator Approves Kinepolis’ Request to Open New Cinemas

The Belgian Competition Authority has approved the request of Kinepolis to lift the limitation on organic growth imposed in 1997: as from August 12, 2021, Kinepolis will be free to operate new cinemas without prior authorisation

The decision of the Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) concerns the termination over time of the limitation of the organic growth of the Kinepolis Group on the Belgian market. Until now, Kinepolis may not establish new single- or multi-hall complexes in Belgium without the preliminary authorisation of the BCA. This limitation was imposed in 1997 by the Competition Council as part of the approval of the concentration between the Bert and Claeys groups creating the Kinepolis.

In its considerations, the BCA found that the imposition of a condition of conduct on a merging party constitutes a far-reaching limitation of market freedom, which should preferably not last long, also in view of the possibilities offered by common competition law to take action against any abuse of a dominant position by a dominant party.

The competition authority concluded it should not be expected to maintain or create local cinema monopolies by prohibiting one market player from growing organically.

Full Content: Belgian Competition

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