Panel to consider changes to exhib code

World Brief

SYDNEY — Australia’s competition watchdog vowed to review the exhib/distrib code of conduct at last week’s annual indie cinema owners confab.

Indie exhibs say the 3-year-old voluntary code, designed to ensure equal access to first-run films in a marketplace dominated by two exhibs, Hoyts and Village, and their affils, is not working.

Ross Jones, a commissioner with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, acknowledges the code is often ineffective.

Motion Picture Distributor Assn. prexy Alan Finney supports the review, saying avoiding litigation is the optimum outcome.

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