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Senate Passes Film-Futures Ban, Forwards to Obama

The U.S. Senate approved a ban on movie-futures trading as part of its broader financial reform bill, sending the measure to President Barack Obama to sign.

The measure blocking futures contracts by Cantor Fitzgerald LP and Media Derivatives Inc. passed today by a 60-38 vote.

Passage is a victory for Hollywood’s largest studios, which argued that speculation on box-office performance would undermine a movie’s prospects for success and lead to insider trading. Cantor and Media Derivatives proposed markets that would enable investors to bet on ticket sales in the U.S. and Canada weeks before a movie’s debut.

The trading ban is part of broader legislation proposed by the Obama administration to tighten controls on financial markets following the 2008 crisis. The measure was approved by the House of Representatives last month.

The Motion Picture Association of America, representing the six largest studios, lobbied against futures trading. Industry groups including the Directors Guild of America and the National Association of Theatre Owners also opposed the Cantor and Media Derivatives plans.

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