p2pnet news | product news:- European anti-trust regulators are showing a particular interest in Blu-ray, backed by Sony and friends.
The European Commission is stepping up investigations into possible anti-competitive practices in the format war over high-definition DVDs, says The Wall Street Journal.
“Jonathan Todd, a spokesman for the commission, confirmed that it had sent letters to the studios in mid-June trying to establish whether they have restrictive agreements to use one or the other of the standards,” it states, going on:
“While the HD camp has had some success in its partnership with Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox 360 videogame consoles and by offering lower-priced machines, the Blu-ray camp has gained the upper hand in Hollywood, with more studios backing its format. Blockbuster Inc. also recently said it would exclusively stock DVDs using the Blu-ray format.
“The HD DVD camp has been lobbying the commission to draw attention to Blu-ray’s tactics in the movie capital in a bid to force more studios to put their product on HD DVD, according to people familiar with the situation. One issue the Commission has raised with some studios is statements made at the Consumer Electronics Show in January in Las Vegas about the exclusivity of studios to Blu-ray, according to people familiar with the situation.”
When consumers switched from the VHS tape format to DVD, “it created a sales bonanza as consumers replaced their old tapes with crisper DVDs,” says the WSJ. The studios are now hoping for the same sort of upgrade for new format DVDs, the story says, adding:
“But many consumers say the difference in quality between the new DVDs and the old ones isn’t as impressive as the difference between VHS tapes and DVDs, prompting them to drag their feet on replacing their equipment. In addition to buying new players, consumers need expensive high-definition televisions to play the new discs.”
The Wall Street Journal – Europe Steps Up Probe of New DVD Formats, July 3, 2007
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