Ban on movie box office futures trading passes

July 15, 2010 6:14:30 PM PDT
Proposals to allow investors to bet on future ticket sales of Hollywood movies were closer to being quashed Thursday after the Senate approved a financial reform bill that includes a ban on the trades.

The 60-39 vote means the bill now awaits President Barack Obama's signature. He's expected to sign it into law as early as Wednesday.

The futures exchanges were strongly opposed by the major studios and unions for directors, independent producers, theater owners and stagehands.

Motion Picture Association of America President Bob Pisano applauded the ban and thanked Congress in a statement Thursday.

Investment firm Veriana Ventures and investment bank Cantor Fitzgerald had backed such exchanges, hoping to benefit from collecting fees on trades. They also argued that giving filmmakers the ability to hedge their risks would bring new investment into the industry.

But the exchanges could have put studios in the untenable position of betting against their own movies before their release in a public forum, a certain recipe for disaster.


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