EU antitrust authority probes provisions of contracts between US film studios, European pay TV - InfoNews

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EU antitrust authority probes provisions of contracts between US film studios, European pay TV

European Commissioner for Competition Joaquin Almunia gestures while speaking during a media conference at EU headquarters in Brussels, Monday, Jan. 13, 2014. The European Union's antitrust watchdog says it has opened an investigation on licensing agreements between several major U.S. film studios and European pay TV broadcasters. Its probe covers Twentieth Century Fox, Warner Bros., Sony Pictures, NBCUniversal and Paramount Pictures. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)
January 13, 2014 - 3:07 AM

BRUSSELS - The European Union's antitrust watchdog says it has opened an investigation on licensing agreements between several major U.S. film studios and European pay TV broadcasters.

Studios mostly sell film rights for use in only one country, rather than across the European Union's 28 nations. The European Commission said Monday it is investigating whether that territorial limitation is legal.

Its probe covers Twentieth Century Fox, Warner Bros., Sony Pictures, NBCUniversal and Paramount Pictures.

The Commission, the bloc's executive arm and antitrust authority, said the clauses granting "absolute territorial protection" might be forcing pay TV operators such as Britain's BSkyB, France's Canal Plus, or Italy's and Germany's Sky channels to refuse subscribers from other EU nations, undermining competition.

News from © The Associated Press, 2014
The Associated Press

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