26 March 2019
After the annulment, for procedural reasons, by the Court of Appeal in Brussels on 21 November 2018 of the decision by the Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) of 26 April 2018, which eased the behavioural conditions imposed on Kinepolis Group as of 26 April 2020, the aforementioned Authority has issued a new decision on 25 March 2019.
Although the Court of Appeal in Brussels had ordered the BCA to review its decision purely on procedural grounds, the BCA has decided to tighten its decision previously taken, as only the opening of new cinema complexes with seven or fewer screens and with a maximum of 1,125 seats will be no longer subject to its prior approval. An additional condition stipulates that new cinema complexes may not be located within a 10 km radius of another Kinepolis complex, whether existing or to be build. The revised conditions will take effect from 25 March 2019.
Eddy Duquenne, CEO Kinepolis Group: “We don’t understand why the BCA has taken another decision than the one taken before considering the fact that the Court of Appeal had annulled the previous decision purely on procedural grounds. What’s more, we can’t understand how the consumer will benefit from this decision. For already more than 20 years, Kinepolis is the only company worldwide that is not free to grow organically in its home market, a cinema market that is lagging behind compared to our neighbouring countries. A competition authority should prioritise the consumers’ interest, not the competitors’. We are considering possible further steps to be taken.”