SEOUL, Dec. 24 (Korea Bizwire) – The Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism has decided not to extend subsidies to large film distributors such as CJ E&M and Lotte Entertainment for their Korean-made movies.
It was a follow-up measure after the Fair Trade Commission announced on December 22 that it would impose fines of 5.5 billion won (3.2 billion won for CJ’s CGV movie theaters and 2.3 billion won for Lotte Cinema) as the companies gave unfair advantages to movie theaters under the same group affiliation in terms of screen numbers and the length of runs.
In addition, the ministry will mandate the film distributors to disclose information on the number of screens and length of runs on the electronic box office counting system operated by the Korean Film Council so that the large distributors won’t be able to wield undue power on movie theater operators.
The ministry held a press conference on the 23rd at the Seoul government complex to announce measures to prevent domination of the movie theater market by a few oligopolistic players. The disclosure requirement, the government officials expected, will prevent unfair practices of the large movie distributors to force theaters to show movies made by them.
Currently the concentration ratio of large distributors in theaters such as CGV, Lotte Cinema and Megabox is more than 90 percent.
By Sean Chung (firstname.lastname@example.org)