US: Antitrust suit against AMC revived

Luxury movie theater chain iPic-Gold Class Entertainment convinced a Texas appeals court on December 5 to revive its antitrust lawsuit claiming AMC Entertainment Holdings conspired to stop it from showing movies in two Texas cities.

The suit, filed in state court, also originally targeted Regal Entertainment. It accused the chains of coordinating their threats not to screen first-run movies that also ran at planned iPic theaters in Houston and Frisco, Texas. The scheme allegedly worked, limiting iPic’s options at its Houston location.

After a trial judge granted iPic a temporary restraining order, Regal settled.

In 2015, Florida-based iPic-Gold Class Entertainment and iPic Texas filed an application for a temporary restraining order and temporary injunction against Tennessee-based Regal Entertainment Group and Kansas-based AMC Entertainment Holdings and related companies.

According to court documents, iPic alleges AMC and Regal have used “their market power to squeeze out iPic’s new theater in Houston and planned theater in Dallas.” iPic alleged that the defendants “threatened film studios with an illegal boycott,” which “forces studios to choose between playing films in defendants’ theaters or iPic’s theaters, despite their preference to play the films at all locations. Defendants’ dominant market power ensures that studios must choose them over iPic, and a number of studios already have succumbed to these demands,” iPic claims.

Full Content: Global Competition Review

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