SEATTLE – Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced a consent decree requiring the divestiture of the Loews Meridian 16 movie theater in downtown Seattle after the merger of the Loews and AMC theater chains is completed.
“The divestiture of the Meridian 16 theater will help ensure that the market for first-run commercial movies remains competitive within the central part of Seattle,” Attorney General Rob McKenna said. “AMC and Loews are the dominant first-run exhibitors in this part of the city.”
The Attorney General’s Office filed the agreement in U.S. District Court in Seattle. Pending final approval by the court, it means that another company will acquire and operate Meridian 16, which is located across from the Washington State Convention Center at 7th Avenue and Pike Street.
AMC announced its intention to merge with Loews in June 2005. Following the announcement, the U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, and several other states engaged in extensive investigations to determine whether the proposal is in compliance with federal and state antitrust laws.
AMC has headquarters in Kansas City, Kan., and is a subsidiary of Marquee Holdings Inc., of New York. Loews had headquarters in New York and is a subsidiary of LCE Holdings Inc., also of New York.
Under Washington’s agreement, the defendants will reimburse the state $49,500 in attorneys’ fees and costs.