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Was the Antitrust Action that Broke Up the Movie Studios Good for the Movies? Evidence from the Stock Market

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  • Arthur De Vany
  • Henry McMillan

Abstract

The Paramount antitrust litigation was a series of eight actions brought by the Department of Justice (DOJ) beginning in 1938 and ending in 1949 against the major motion picture studios. In the early cases the DOJ succeeded in changing industry contracts, but it took a decade of litigation to accomplish what the DOJ wanted, which was to break up the studios and force them to sell their theater chains. We use stock market evidence to evaluate the impact of events in the Paramount litigation on firm value. By the stock market's assessment, the Supreme Court decision was the major event. But the impact of this and other decisions on integrated and nonintegrated defendants, and on a nondefendant, does not support the view that the courts dismantled a successful monopoly; indeed, the contrary may be true. Copyright 2004, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Arthur De Vany & Henry McMillan, 2004. "Was the Antitrust Action that Broke Up the Movie Studios Good for the Movies? Evidence from the Stock Market," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(1), pages 135-153.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:amlawe:v:6:y:2004:i:1:p:135-153
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alexander Stremitzer, 2012. "Opportunistic Termination," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(3), pages 381-406, August.
    2. Ayres, Ian & Madison, Kristin, 2000. "Threatening inefficient performance," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(4-6), pages 818-828, May.
    3. Guriev Sergei, 2003. "Incomplete Contracts with Cross-Investments," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-32, August.
    4. Andreas Roider, 2004. "Asset Ownership and Contractibility of Interaction," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 35(4), pages 787-802, Winter.
    5. Brooks, Richard & Stremitzer, Alexander, 2009. "On and Off Contract Remedies," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 290, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    6. Rosenkranz, Stephanie & Schmitz, Patrick W., 1999. "Know-how disclosure and incomplete contracts," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 181-185, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Wen-jhan Jane & Wei-peng Chen & Yuan-lin Hsu, 2015. "The impact of deregulation on the movie box office after Taiwan’s entry into the WTO: the difference-in-differences estimation," Eurasian Business Review, Springer;Eurasia Business and Economics Society, vol. 5(2), pages 289-308, December.
    2. repec:fgv:epgrbe:v:66:n:1:a:3 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Fotis, Panagiotis, 2011. "Firm's damages from antitrust & abuse of dominant position investigations," MPRA Paper 32788, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 13 Aug 2011.
    4. Michael Cichello & Douglas Lamdin, 2006. "Event Studies and the Analysis of Antitrust," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(2), pages 229-245.
    5. W. D. Walls, 2009. "The Market for Motion Pictures in Thailand: Rank, Revenue, and Survival at the Box Office," International Journal of Business and Economics, College of Business and College of Finance, Feng Chia University, Taichung, Taiwan, pages 115-131.
    6. Schröder, Bruno, 2012. "Práticas restritivas, barreiras à entrada e concorrência no mercado brasileiro de exibição cinematográfica," Revista Brasileira de Economia - RBE, FGV/EPGE - Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil), vol. 66(1), March.
    7. Panagiotis N. Fotis, 2012. "Competition Policy and Firm’s Damages," Chapters,in: Recent Advances in the Analysis of Competition Policy and Regulation, chapter 6 Edward Elgar Publishing.

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