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Most-favored-nation clause

Sunday, October 31, 2004; Page F03

• In the movie business, a promise by a distributor to a film producer that the producer will enjoy terms as favorable as those the distributor offers any other producer.

• A standard feature of contracts between Hollywood studios and foreign pay-TV firms.

• According to Mario Monti, the European competition commissioner, a method by which Hollywood studios act as a cartel to raise prices and restrain competition.

• A practice that Disney, Fox, MGM, Sony, DreamWorks and Warner Bros. have quietly scrapped to avoid a protracted legal battle in the $1.5 billion-a-year market.

• According to Universal and Paramount, an appropriate and lawful arrangement that does not constrain competition in an industry characterized by fierce rivalry.

• Another source of trade friction between the United States and Europe.

-- S.P.

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