TALLINN: The Estonian Competition Authority announced on 19 February 2021 that MM Grupp OÜ’s purchase of Forum Cinemas OÜ has been broken off as the parties decided to abandon the transaction.
Tallinn-based MM Grupp is a large-scale investment company operating among other spheres in the media, real estate and entertainment business. In August 2020 it was announced that MM Grupp’s cinema chain Apollo Grupp would buy the cinemas belonging to Sweden’s Forum Cinemas.
Apollo Grupp operates 10 cinemas in Estonia, including four cinemas in Tallinn and two in the second-biggest town Tartu. In addition, MM Grupp has a strong position in film distribution. Forum Cinemas operates three cinemas in Estonia, including the Coca-Cola Plaza in Tallinn.
The Estonian Competition Authority came to the conclusion that the concentration of ownership in one company could 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.
Although the entertainment sector is facing difficulties, the Competition Authority considered that consolidations that distort competition would have a negative long-term effect, which cannot be overlooked even in the current situation.