12/12/2005 - 14:34

ACCC green light for Hoyts purchase of Cinema City stake

12/12/2005 - 14:34

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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has given its blessing to national cinema giant Hoyts' planned purchase of rival Greater Union's 45 per cent interest in the Cinema City joint venture.

ACCC green light for Hoyts purchase of Cinema City stake

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has given its blessing to national cinema giant Hoyts' planned purchase of rival Greater Union's 45 per cent interest in the Cinema City joint venture.
This follows the ACCC forming the view that it will not oppose cinema transactions between Hoyts and Greater Union which have several joint venture arrangements.
The ACCC announcement also anticipates the closure of the other Perth cinema subject to the existing joint venture, the three-screen CineCentre.
The various joint ventures arrangements were entered into between 1998 and 2001 and also included arrangements with cinemas in Sydney and Brisbane.
ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said the competition regulator considered the transactions would not substantially lessen competition for first-release film exhibition in Perth, Sydney or Brisbane.

 

 

ACCC not to oppose cinema acquisitions

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will not oppose cinema transactions between Greater Union and Hoyts, ACCC Chairman, Mr Graeme Samuel said today.

Between 1998 and 2001, Hoyts and Greater Union entered into various arrangements for joint ventures and the sharing of operations at cinemas in the Perth, Brisbane and Sydney CBDs. Greater Union and Hoyts propose to unwind these arrangements such that:

  • in Perth, Hoyts will acquire Greater Union's 45 per cent interest in the Cinema City joint venture. The other Perth cinema complex subject to the existing joint venture, the three-screen CineCentre, will be closed
  • in Sydney, Hoyts will acquire Greater Union's 50 per cent interest in the Broadway Cinema joint venture. Greater Union will acquire Hoyts' interest in six screens at the George Street cinema joint venture and
  • in Brisbane, Greater Union will acquire Hoyts' interest in seven screens at the Myer and Regent cinema complexes.

In coming to its view, the ACCC consulted widely with film distributors and competing cinema operators.

"The ACCC considered that competition from other suburban and CBD cinema operators would constrain Greater Union and Hoyts from increasing ticket prices. For example, in Brisbane, Greater Union will face competition from Cineplex, AMC and Westside Cinemas. In Sydney, Greater Union's competitors will include Hoyts' 12-screen Broadway cinema complex and Reading's five-screen Market City cinema complex.

"Accordingly, the ACCC considered that the transactions are unlikely to substantially lessen competition for first-release film exhibition in the Perth, Sydney and Brisbane metropolitan areas", Mr Samuel said.

 

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