Washington, DC - Attorney General Robert J. Spagnoletti announced today that an agreement between the District of Columbia and the AMC and Loews movie theater chains requires the divestiture of two theaters in the District of Columbia: the AMC theater located at Union Station and the Loews theater located at 4000 Wisconsin Avenue, NW.
The agreement resolves the District's complaint alleging that the proposed merger between AMC and Loews violates District and federal antitrust laws because it substantially reduces competition in the movie theater business in the District.
Ultimately, the agreement preserves competition to the benefit of movie-goers in the District, says Attorney General Spagnoletti. "Without the agreed divestitures, District movie-goers faced the likelihood of higher ticket prices and a lower quality theater experience."
The District of Columbia filed suit in US District Court in the District of Columbia challenging the proposed merger of AMC and Loews. According to the complaint, the proposed merger as originally planned would have given AMC and Loews control of five of the six first-run mainstream movie theaters in the District and a box office share in the District of 78% of first-run mainstream theaters.
The settlement, subject to court approval, will require the divestiture of AMC Union Station and Loews 4000 Wisconsin Avenue theaters to a competitor (or competitors) that the Office of the Attorney General approves. The proposed settlement also prevents AMC and Loews from entering into contracts restricting the rights of theater landlords to rent former AMC and Loews theaters to new theater tenants.
Two related lawsuits and settlements, one by the United States Department of Justice with the attorneys general of Illinois, Massachusetts, and New York, and the other by the State of California's Attorney General -- are being filed today. Those lawsuits require divestitures of AMC and Loews theaters in geographic areas other than the District of Columbia.
Select the documents below for more information: