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Lithuanian competition watchdog probes possible cartel in cinema exhibition market

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„Scanpix“ nuotr. / Kino teatras
Šaltinis: BNS

The Lithuanian Competition Council is carrying out an investigation into a possible cartel in the cinema and film distribution markets amid suspicions that Scandinavian-owned Forum Cinemas, the owner of the largest chain of movie theaters in the country, continues to restrict competition.

The Competition Council's spokeswoman Rima Kaulėnaitė told BNS that, among other things, the competition authority is looking into whether Forum Cinemas fulfills the obligations, imposed on it in June 2010, not to restrict competition.

Kaulėnaitė did not say if Poland's Multikino has also filed a complaint in this probe. "In order to avoid certain problems in carrying out this investigation, we can't provide any more information at the moment," she told BNS.

In 2010, the Competition Council established some cases in which there were suspicions that Forum Cinemas had been pressing film distributors to refuse to rent copies of films to other movie theaters or restrict the supply of films. The authority then said that the obligations it had imposed on Forum Cinemas were to ensure that all movie theaters would screen the latest films sooner.

The competition body then received a complaint by one of Forum Cinemas' competitors, Estonia's Cinamon Operations.

Forum Cinemas has six movie theaters in Lithuania. Multikino and Cinamon have one movie theater each, in Vilniaus and Kaunas, respectively.

Naujienų agentūros BNS informaciją atgaminti visuomenės informavimo priemonėse bei interneto tinklalapiuose be raštiško UAB „BNS“ sutikimo draudžiama.
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