April 7, 2020
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.
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.
Universal and Warner Bros. executives will run the JV, with overall leadership by Eddie Cunningham, president of Universal Pictures’ worldwide home entertainment.