OPPORTUNISM, UNCERTAINTY, AND RELATIONAL CONTRACTING – ANTITRUST

OPPORTUNISM, UNCERTAINTY, AND RELATIONAL CONTRACTING – ANTITRUST

44 Pages · 2009 · 338 KB · English

OPPORTUNISM, UNCERTAINTY, AND RELATIONAL CONTRACTING – ANTITRUST IN THE FILM INDUSTRY Ryan M. Riegg∗ In 1938, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) brought

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OPPOR TUNISM, UNCER TAINTY , AND RELA TIONAL CONTRACTING ? ANTITRUST IN THE FILM INDUSTR Y Ryan M. Riegg ∗ In 1938, the Department of Justice (?DOJ?) brought char ges against the eight major Hollywood movie Studios for violating the Sherman antitrust act. 1 According to the DOJ, the Studios were a cartel engaged in a practice of bid-rigging, where movies would go exclusively to those theaters that the Studios controlled in order to eliminate the small, independent theaters and exhibitors that they did not. The allegation was that Studios controlled theaters through a variety of implicit and explicit agreements that involved the establishment of either 1) long-term, or multi-transaction, contracts, whereby Studios would ?force? a given theater to take movies it did not want in order to get the movies that it did want or 2) vertically integrative contracts, whereby the Studio owned an interest in the theater . By the end of the litigation, known as Paramount , in 1948, three new legal rules governed the industry: (i) no direct or indirect intervention in admission price setting by producers and distributors; (ii) no licensing negotiations except on ?theater -by-theater , movie-by-movie? basis; and (iii) no vertical integration between the Studios and exhibitors. 2 108 ∗ Ryan Riegg is a member of the California Bar . Since graduating from the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law in 2008, he has had two other articles accepted for publication: Clitoridectomy and the Economics of Islamic Marriage & Divor ce Law ; and Behavioral Economic Issues in American and Islamic Marriage & Divor ce Law . Both are scheduled to be published in the fall 2009 editions of The Journal of Islamic and Near Eastern Law (UCLA School of Law) and The International Journal of Legal Information (International Association of Law Libraries), respectively . He can be contacted at [email protected] 1 United States v . Paramount Pictures, 334 U.S. 131,

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