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ANTITRUST CHIEF SAYS KODAK CONTINUES TO DOMINATE FILM MARKET; OPPOSES REMOVAL OF MOST PROVISIONS OF 1921 AND 1954 DECREES

 WASHINGTON, Nov. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Department of Justice today informed Eastman Kodak Company (NYSE: EK), the world's largest manufacturer of film and photographic supplies, that it opposes the removal of most of the provisions of two decrees entered in 1921 and 1954.
 "Terminating these decree provisions would not be in the public interest since Kodak continues to dominate the film market," said Anne K. Bingaman, assistant attorney general of the antitrust division.
 The department said it would not support Kodak's motion, filed last May in the U.S. District Court in Rochester, N.Y., to terminate decrees entered against Kodak.
 The department's decision follows and investigation by the Antitrust Division in which wholesale photo-finishers, manufacturers of film and photographic paper, retailers, and more than 250 photo-processing minilab owners expressed concern that termination of these decrees would be anticompetitive.
 The 1921 and 1954 decrees were designed to prevent the company from using its market power in the amateur color film market to reduce competition in film and photo-finishing markets, she said.
 "These decree provisions continue to be necessary to protect against the danger that Kodak, which in 1992 accounted for about 75 percent of United States dollar sales of amateur color film, will harm consumers through its exercise of market power in the film and processing markets," said Bingaman.
 The department said it opposes termination of decree provisions prohibiting exclusive dealing in film, the sale of "fighting brands" of film and connecting the sale of color film to its processing because the dangers these decree provisions were meant to protect against continue to exist.
 The 1921 decree arose out of a 1916 decree entered after a federal court found Kodak had illegally monopolized the domestic trade in cameras, film, photographic paper and photographic plates.
 The 1954 decree was entered after the department alleged that Kodak had used its power in the amateur color film market to create and maintain dominance in color film photo-finishing markets.
 The 1921 decree enjoined Kodak from preventing dealers in Kodak products from freely selling competing products. It also prohibited Kodak from manufacturing "fighting brands" such as private label film sold through retailers but not identified as Kodak film.
 The 1954 decree required Kodak to license its photo-finishing technology and prohibited it from engaging in activities that connected the sale of Kodak color film to its processing.
 While opposing termination of these provisions, the government's investigation found that it would be "in the public interest" not to oppose some modifications of the decrees.
 For example, the government would tentatively concur in a motion to narrow the 1921 decree so that it applies only to film and single-use cameras, but would no longer apply to other types of cameras, photographic paper or photographic plates.
 Eastman Kodak Company is headquartered in Rochester.
 -0- 11/4/93
 /CONTACT: The Department of Justice, 202-616-2771/
 (EK)


CO: The Department of Justice; Eastman Kodak Company ST: District of Columbia IN: SU: EXE

IH-DC -- DC040 -- 0965 11/04/93 17:10 EST
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Date:Nov 4, 1993
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