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Hollywood On The Offensive As EU Questions Geo-Blocks

Regulators sent the companies a so-called statement of objections last year, attacking industry contracts that prevent people viewing movies and TV programs outside the country in which they are sold. Walt Disney Co., Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Brothers unit, Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal Media, Sony Pictures and Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures also have the chance to rebuff EU arguments as a three-day hearing started Monday morning in Brussels.

Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s competition commissioner, vowed on Sunday to tackle such curbs as soon as she can. She said she’ll detail the EU’s concerns with geo-blocking, or limits on where online content can be used, before the end of March. Regulators are also looking at how video games companies restrict what they offer in different EU countries.

The EU is separately aiming to create rules allowing people use VOD services such as video streaming from Netflix Inc. when they travel outside their own country. This portability “does not solve the lack of cross-border access,” Reyna said.

Source : Bloomberg

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