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DOJ Warns Oscars: Give Streaming Services a Chance (or Else)

April 05, 2019 / KYLE KUCHARSKI

Should movies that are only available on streaming services and never screened in movie theaters be eligible for Oscars? The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences says no, prompting concern at the Department of Justice.DOJ last month warned the Academy that its proposed rule, which would require films to spend significant time in theaters to be considered eligible for an Oscar, might violate antitrust law and suppress competition. If the Academy "establishes certain eligibility requirements for the Oscars that eliminate competition without procompetitive justification, such conduct may raise antitrust concerns," Makan Delrahim, the head of the DOJ's Antitrust Division, wrote in a letter obtained by Variety. The letter went on to cite Article 1 of the Sherman Act, which "prohibits anticompetitive agreements among competitors," and warned that violation of antitrust laws could occur if regulations by the Academy are created that "impede competition by g...