Multiplex Cinema Merger Called Off ({{commentsTotal}})

Tallinn's two big "cluster cinemas" called off their merger bid after being warned by the Competition Authority that the move had no chance of going through.

Solaris and Forum Cinemas withdrew their application with five days to go before the deadline, and the Competition Authority wound up proceedings today, reported uudised.err.ee. 

The regulator had said that allowing the merger would significantly harm competition in the film screening market in the greater Tallinn area, resulting in likely price rises.

There are several other, smaller cinemas in Tallinn, the regulator said, but those in Forum's Coca-Cola Plaza and in the Solaris shopping center are the only multiplex ones.

A cinema in nearby Viimsi municipality due to enter the market shortly and the IMAX being opened in the former Kosmos will likewise not make a significant dent, said the authority's director general Märt Ots.

Along with the merger plans, the Forum and Solaris had been under scrutiny for what appeared to be synchronized price increases in the summer.