by CIO Staff

E.C. Officials Investigate Rival DVD Format Licensing

Jul 28, 20061 min
IT Leadership

Antitrust officials from the European Commission have launched an informal probe into the licensing practices of HD-DVD and Blu-ray developers, the two rival developers in the upcoming next-gen DVD format war, Reuters reports via The Wall Street Journal.

The commission distributed “a letter earlier this month to the makers of HD-DVD and Blu-ray to request information about licensing,” a commission representative said, according to Reuters.

Toshiba developed the HD-DVD format, and a handful of firms led by Sony, including Philips Electronics, Samsung and Sharp, created Blu-ray, according to Reuters.

The two will likely soon clash in a battle to become the next widely used DVD format, assuming mainstream film lovers veer away from the traditional DVDs and embrace a new format.

Though the commission did not specify which firms it contacted, Sony confirmed that it received a letter and that it is cooperating, Reuters reports.

The commission is interested in whether the licensing strategies may violate European Union antitrust regulations, according to Reuters.

The current probe is informal, and depending on what the commission finds, it may choose to launch an official investigation, Reuters reports.

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