Further to Kinepolis' request on 31 March 2017 [See Benelux Competition Newsletter 2017/1], the BCA partially lifted the remedies it had imposed on Kinepolis in 1997 following the merger of Groep Bert and Groep Claeys, which created the Kinepolis Group.
Kinepolis requested to lift all remedies arguing that in the 20 year period the market had significantly evolved due to the presence of new cinema operators, increased competitive pressure from other viewing experiences (DVD, home cinema, etc.), and full digitalisation of the film industry.
The BCA found that Kinepolis still held a dominant position on the relevant markets for showing films. The BCA then examined the likely effect of the dominant position on competition and concluded that the first condition (the prohibition on Kinepolis to request or demand that film distributors provide exclusivity or priority for the distribution of films and the prohibition to reserve, promote more intensively or grant any other favourable treatment to films that Kinepolis distributes itself) and second condition (the prohibition not to enter into new agreements with independent cinema operators) needed to be maintained, but that the third condition (the obligation to obtain prior approval from the BCA each time it intends to build or acquire a new cinema complex) could be lifted for the building of a new complex from 31 May 2019.