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.
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