EU drops Hollywood studios probe

EU drops Hollywood studios probe BRUSSELS: European regulators dropped a probe into deals done by major Hollywood film studios that it feared would stifle access to digital screens for low-budget European movies.

"I am pleased that Hollywood studios considered our legitimate concerns and modified the contracts so that cinema-goers can watch both Hollywood blockbusters but also small budget and art-house films with the latest state-of-the-art technology," said Joaquin Almunia, European Union competition commissioner.

"As the majors concerned have modified those contracts, all ends well, like in a good film," Almunia's spokeswoman added.

Almunia's office said that an antitrust investigation probing investment deals concluded during the switchover from film projection to digital cinemas had closed after the big producers changed the terms of contracts signed.

"Several major US Hollywood film studios revised contract provisions relating to the financing and installation of digital projection equipment in cinemas," the commission said in a statement.

"The changes proposed by major Hollywood film studios will make it easier for independent and art-house distributors to have access to cinemas equipped with digital equipment," it said.

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