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Fandango Buys Rival MovieTickets.com, Amassing Broader Theater Reach

Fandango plans to acquire longtime competitor MovieTickets.com, in what would be the union of the industry’s two biggest online movie-ticketing services.

Financial terms of the deal, expected to close by the end of 2017, were not disclosed. The proposed pact is subject to regulatory approval in the U.S.

The merged company will compete with relative newcomer Atom Tickets. Launched in 2016, the company has backing from Disney, 20th Century Fox and Lionsgate and touts its app-centric approach to ticketing incorporating social-networking features.

Fandango’s ticketing network spans more than 33,000 screens worldwide, while MovieTickets.com has pacts representing over 29,000. There’s significant overlap between the two — for example, both companies sell tickets AMC and Regal theaters — and the deal will increase Fandango’s global screen count by around 20%, to 40,000.

MovieTickets.com will extend Fandango’s network to new exhibitors, including National Amusements, Cineplex, Landmark Theatres, Marquee Cinemas and many independent theater chains.

The deal also will also boost Fandango’s footprint in Latin America, particularly in Argentina and Mexico. And for the first time, Fandango will now have a ticketing presence in Canada and the U.K. After the acquisition is complete, MovieTickets.com will continue to operate from its headquarters in Boca Raton, Fla.

“MovieTickets.com has done a terrific job, building a popular and trusted brand with millions of loyal customers and hundreds of exhibitors, and has been a champion of serving theater circuits large and small for nearly two decades,” Fandango president Paul Yanover said in a statement. “We look forward to sharing an array of mobile and social-media innovations with their customer base to enhance the movie discovery, planning and ticket-buying experience.”

MovieTickets.com CEO Joel Cohen added, ‘MovieTickets.com is committed to serving moviegoers and exhibitors to enhance the total moviegoing experience. Teaming with Fandango will enable MovieTickets.com to further its mission and increase advance ticket sales.”

MovieTickets.com has pacts with 258 theater chains in 22 countries. Owners of the company, founded in 2000, included Hollywood Media, Time Warner, Viacom, National Amusements, Cineplex, Regal Entertainment Group, and Marcus Theatres.

For NBCUniversal-owned Fandango, MovieTickets.com is the latest acquisition in a string of deals the company has embarked on as it diversifies services and expands internationally.

Last year, Fandango acquired Rotten Tomatoes and Flixster from Warner Bros. and bought transactional VOD service M-Go (rebranded as FandangoNow) from Technicolor and DreamWorks Animation. Internationally, Fandango in 2015 acquired Brazil’s biggest online movie-ticketing provider, Ingresso.com, and last December acquired Peru-based Cinepapaya (rebranded as Fandango Latin America).

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