Estonian competition watchdog terminates deal of MM Grupp and Forum Cinemas

  • 2021-02-20
  • LETA/BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – The Estonian Competition Authority has terminated the proceedings concerning the concentration of MM Grupp OU and Forum Cinemas OU, as the parties decided to abandon the concentration.

As a result of the proceedings, the Competition Authority came to the conclusion that the concentration could significantly harm competition in cinemas, as the combined market share in Tallinn would have increased to more than 80 percent and in Tartu to more than 90 percent, the authority said.

In addition, one of the parties to the concentration has a strong position in the film distribution product market, which would in turn amplify the negative effects of the concentration, the Competition Authority said.

Although this is a difficult period for the entertainment sector, the Competition Authority considered that concentrations that distort competition and have a negative and long-term effect on the structure of the product market cannot be approved for this reason.

Apollo Kino OU, which is controlled by MM Grupp, operates 10 cinemas in Estonia, including four cinemas in Tallinn, two cinemas in Tartu and one cinema each in Parnu, Saaremaa, Narva and Johvi.

MM Grupp OU distributes motion pictures through the group's companies Theatrical Film Distribution OU and Estonian Theatrical Distribution OU under the brand Hea Film.

Forum Cinemas OU operates three cinemas in Estonia, including the Coca-Cola Plaza in Tallinn, Ekraan in Tartu and Centrum in Viljandi.

MM Grupp OU is a holding company owned by Margus Linnamae and Ivar Vendelin. MM Grupp's companies operate in the fields of healthcare, media, real estate, retail goods and services.

MM Grupp also owns Postimees Grupp and news agency BNS.