COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine confirmed Thursday that his office is investigating the nation’s three largest movie theater chains – AMC, Cinemark, and Regal – for possible antitrust violations.
The investigation centers on whether AMC, Cinemark, and Regal engaged in conduct that unfairly excluded competitors from the market and kept new theaters from entering the market. Exclusionary conduct, generally, can limit consumer choice and stifle innovation.
“All businesses should have a fair chance to compete,” Attorney General DeWine said. “We’re investigating the movie theater chains because of concerns that smaller, independent businesses have been unfairly pushed out of the market. We’re conducting a thorough review to determine whether or not antitrust laws have been violated.”
AMC, Cinemark, and Regal previously have disclosed in public filings that they received civil investigative demands from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. The investigation also has prompted nine other states to open similar probes into the theaters’ conduct.
If an antitrust investigation uncovers violations of state or federal laws, the Ohio Attorney General can seek an injunction or other monetary remedies.