European Commission Approves Warner, Universal Home Entertainment Joint Venture

The European Commission April 7 formally cleared creation of a previously announced home entertainment joint venture between Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. Regulators approved the deal under an expedited merger review process.

The 10-year pact helps the two studios cut overhead costs involving the distribution of DVDs, Blu-rays and 4K UHD Blu-ray Discs in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Japan, in addition to manufacturing and distributing packaged media in the U.S. and Canada. The JV is projected to begin later this year.

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Warner will oversee the distribution of Universal’s physical home entertainment products in the U.K., Italy, Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg starting in the first quarter 2021.

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Universal and Warner Bros. executives will run the JV, with overall leadership by Eddie Cunningham, president of Universal Pictures’ worldwide home entertainment.

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