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Eliminating Paramount Antitrust Decrees won’t affect movie business

The Paramount Decrees was the ruling factor for Hollywood, since the golden age of movies. The decision given by Justice Department to do away with directives that were there decades before the rise of cable or streaming business, has barely affected the entertainment industry.

It is simply because they are widely seen as Anachronism. This is seen as an attempt of the Federal Government to break up the strangle hold the studios were maintaining on the entertainment business. It did not allow this business to own the means of production and distribution both.

Under the regulation, a group of movie companies including Paramount, Universal, Warner Bros, Twentieth Century Fox, Sony and United Artists were barred from owning major theatre circuits. But some of these companies, namely Sony, Paramount and Warner Bros still managed to take some tentative steps into space for exhibition over the years, owning their stakes in theatre chains and obtaining waivers with minimal blowback.

Hal Vogel, the Head of the Vogel Capital Management said that though it was the letter of the law, it lacked the spirit in terms of enforcement. Everyone could understand that the ruling was outdated and was not applicable to the new economy.

For some reason, this ruling failed to include one key player of the game, the Walt Disney Company. This company was not a part of these restrictions because it was not the target of the original lawsuit, which brought these regulations into effect.

Moreover, the landscape of entertainment has changed so drastically since the consent decrees were enacted. As per these decrees, the companies governed by the restrictions have changed almost beyond recognition. They no longer remain family dominated movie studios but have changed to rather sprawling conglomerates. These structures now have interests in everything from video games to theme parks.

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