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May 22, 2014 7:30 am

Israeli ‘Popcorn Bill’ Seeks to Lower Cost of Food in Movie Theaters

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Popcorn. Photo: wiki commons.

Israel’s Economic Affairs Committee on Tuesday approved for the second and third readings a new bill that seeks to lower the price of food and drink at entertainment arenas.

Touting the new law on Facebook, Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennett said, “They will no longer be able exploit us at theaters, concerts and sporting events.”

Known as the “popcorn bill,” the law helps consumers avoid overblown concession stand prices at movie theaters and other venues by allowing outside food and drink. Once the law takes effect, Bennett said, “The snack bars will understand the message quickly. Suddenly you will have real competition – yourselves. Your sandwich from home will compete with their popcorn, and prices will drop accordingly.”

“These are precisely the cases in which the state should intervene, in places where there are market failures, where there is exploitation of captive audiences,” Bennett wrote. “Once you enter the stadium or the cinema the competition for food disappears, and that leads to outrageous prices. This is a market failure, ‘a blockage in the pipeline,’ and, like hundreds of other blockages, we are opening them.”

The legislation was first introduced in 2012 by Knesset member Karmel Shama-Hacohen.

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