Regulators: AMC can buy smaller movie-theater chain Carmike

Markets Associated Press

Federal regulators say movie-theater chain AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. can buy smaller rival Carmike Cinemas Inc. for $1.2 billion if it sells some theaters.

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The deal will make AMC the biggest U.S. movie theater operator.

The U.S. Department of Justice says its approval hinges on AMC selling theaters in 15 markets where it competes with Carmike. The Leawood, Kansas, company also has to sell most of its holdings in National Cinemedia, a cinema advertising company, and transfer 24 theaters to a rival theater ad company, Screenvision LLC.

The Justice Department says the deal would lead to higher prices for moviegoers without those conditions.