Film Fridays- EU Says “P.U.” to US Film Companies and Possible Antitrust Violation

It seems like Apple might not be the only major company being accused of violating antitrust laws (see the post, Tunesday Tuesday- Apple “Mac-ing” on Other Music Streaming Services’ Profits?). In a major news story for the week, the European Union’s European Commission sent a notice to UK TV provider Sky UK and six US film companies accusing them of having contracts which limit Sky UK’s ability to give access to certain films to subscribers outside of the UK. These six film studios, including Disney, NBCUniversal, Paramount Pictures, Sony, Twentieth Century Fox and Warner Bros., are involved, according to the EC, with restricting paying customers access and requests to certain material in Europe using “geo-blocking”.  The EC contends that having content that a person rightfully paid for restricted when moving between countries in the EU is problematic and is giving competition in other parts of the world an unfair advantage over the market. In a statement released by Margrethe Vestager, EU Commissioner in charge of competition policy, she addressed the EC’s Statement of Objections that it issued to Sky UK and the six US companies:

“European consumers want to watch the pay-TV channels of their choice regardless of where they live or travel in the EU. Our investigation shows that they cannot do this today, also because licensing agreements between the major film studios and Sky UK do not allow consumers in other EU countries to access Sky’s UK and Irish pay-TV services, via satellite or online. We believe that this may be in breach of EU competition rules.”

Disney released a statement disagreeing with the EC’s concerns, which the company believes goes against consumer values.

Who knows– maybe if Disney films are not as accessible in the EU, Europeans can just settle for The Autobots instead.

 

Check out the full article here: EU launches antitrust probe against Disney, other film studios

Have a great weekend!

 

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