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Europe Investigates Blu-ray & HD DVD Antitrust Practices For Securing Studio Support

In a move that could be key to determining the future of home cinema, European antitrust regulators are stepping up their probe into possible anticompetitive practices in the format war over high-definition DVDs.

Hollywood's studios are racing to dig up files, emails and records of telephone conversations related to the competing Blu-ray and HD DVD formats after the European Commission sent out letters last month demanding evidence of their communications and agreements on the new generation of DVD formats.

The European Commission, the European Union's executive body, appears to be particularly interested in the activities of the Blu-ray group because of its dominance in Hollywood, according to people familiar with the situation. The commission is investigating whether improper tactics were used to suppress competition and persuade the studios to back their format.

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btkadams3584d ago

why is it that hard to believe that most studios chose one format?
sony owns a multiple big movie studios so that automatically gave them an advantage. the other studios who joined on just joined on for thier reasons. besides, lol, wat is the european commission gonna do if they find out blu-ray or hddvd used improper tactics? it isnt really gonna change the tides, the war is a year from being over. have fun wasting your time and money investigating while the rest of us just do the cool thing and fight about it

BIadestarX3584d ago

Well.. simply because HD DVD seems obviously the best choice for the consumer and companies... due to features, price and because it was released first. I think it is only fair that just like they do to microsoft they should do to Sony.... If Sony have not done nothing wrong... in order to secure all these and give HD DVD a fair chance they Sony have nothing to worry about. So investigate away! but if Sony have done some dirty unfair thing "improper tactics were used to suppress competition and persuade the studios to back their format." then just like Many of you flame microsoft... Sony should be burn and hang from the trees.... I hope they run that investigation in the US... something tells me... they may find... some dead cats if they dig.

Lord Anubis3584d ago

if any of the two format consortium were engaged in a silly ill behavior trying to recruit Hollywood studios. The backers will be severely fined and can potentially the commission set a lot of restrictions on the backers.

the_round_peg3584d ago (Edited 3584d ago )

The same reason it is hard to believe that most consumers chose Microsoft Windows.

The European antitrust commission that is investigating Sony's Blu-ray now is the same body that investigated Microsoft over Windows and Internet Explorer many times before.

DJ3584d ago

"We're gonna investigate this. HMMMM"

Whoooop3584d ago

"The same reason it is hard to believe that most consumers chose Microsoft Windows".

Well the thing is most of them didn't choose Microsoft windows, they were using it because practically every computer came with it and all of MICROSOFT applications giving NO chance to other companies applications and programs.. Only the ones that made a deal with Microsoft..

With bluray and HDDVD people REALLY have a choice and most importantly are conscious about it because both formats are out there with the same advantages or disadvantages..

The only thing that bluray has over HDDVD right now is the studios support.

people know that and some are still buying HDDVD so I don't think is the same situation..

the_round_peg3584d ago (Edited 3584d ago )

Whoooop: "Well the thing is most of them didn't choose Microsoft windows, they were using it because practically every computer came with it and all of MICROSOFT applications giving NO chance to other companies applications and programs.."

That's not entirely true.

For example, like many high-end PC gamers, I build my own computers. When we build our own computers, we don't get Windows "pre-installed". We don't have to choose Windows. As the matter of fact, we can choose to skip Windows-based PC and just go for a Mac or Linux instead.

But guess what? We still choose Windows. We always go back to Windows for one reason or another. When we build our own computers, no one forces we to adopt Windows - and we actually have to buy Windows. We actually have to pay money out of our own pocket. But we are willing to do that.

I tried out Linux just for the curiosity of it... but in the end, after playing around with Linux for a bit, I deleted Linux from my system. Why? Because there is no reason for me to use Linux -- and the reason being *exclusive applications*.

IN ADDITION, many companies choose Microsoft Windows over other platforms. Companies can choose to skip Microsoft and Windows if they want -- and in fact many do. They can just go straight to Sun, Linux, Mac or whatever. But MOST companies still choose Microsoft and Windows, and for many good reasons. No one forces us to adopt Windows over, let say, Mac, Linux, Sun, or another platform. Companies choose so on our own after doing cost-benefit comparisons.

the_round_peg3584d ago (Edited 3584d ago )

Whoooop: "With bluray and HDDVD people REALLY have a choice and most importantly are conscious about it because both formats are out there with the same advantages or disadvantages."

Which can be untrue as well. Using your logic for how Windows come "pre-installed" on many PC, then PS3 comes with Blu-ray "pre-installed" - whether consumers want the Blu-ray with the gaming device or not. I'm just applying your Windows logic to Blu-ray.

I want a PS3, but I don't want the blu-ray. Can I get a PS3 without the blu-ray?

I don't want HD DVD as well. I'm happy with DVD for the moment. Since I don't want blu-ray (or HD DVD,) and PS3 forces its customer to adopt blu-ray, then I suppose I have a choice: I'll just NOT buy PS3. In fact, that seems to be what most consumers have decided to do: saying no to blu-ray by not buying PS3.

And, with an "oligopoly" of movie studios picking sides to release their movies on one format and not the other, one could argue that it is an anti-competitive practice that limits choices for consumers.

That's the potential anti-competitive practice: a conglomerate of corporations coming together, making explicit backroom deals to pick one format over the other. Isn't that similar to what OPEC does?? That's OLIGOPOLY right there.

Sure, Microsoft Windows is the exclusive OS platform for software and applications - BUT - Microsoft has never made any sort of backroom deal with any other software company to get that kind of support for Windows. Microsoft didn't get together with a bunch of other companies in a boardroom and sign a backroom deal to support Windows over Mac or Linux.

In fact, companies and governments have come together and repeatedly cut deals to make Microsoft's life difficult, but Microsoft still somehow manages to survive and thrive.

That's the reason Blu-ray is being investigated.

Whoooop3584d ago (Edited 3584d ago )

You don't know about other people..

Yeah you build your own computers and some people do too, but the mass don't. They just go to a retailer or online and buy a dell or an HP.

Nowadays people are paying more attention to what they buy specially technology, but when Microsoft got sued people didn't know that much about computers and the computers were saturated with Microsoft apps etc.

No one forces you to choose Windows, linux etc cause you build your computer. (key word here BUILD).. but the people that didn't have that knowledge were the ones that Microsoft was manipulating..

Even today most of the computers and laptop comes with vista with all their features and apps, but at least this time around common people are seeing a choice with mac.

About bluray maybe they are incurring in illegal acts, but they have the support cause they have a movie studio to begin with, so they are bound to have more support..

"Which is untrue as well, because PS3 comes with Blu-ray "pre-installed"... whether consumers want the Blu-ray with the gaming device or not"

that's not even on topic.. people have the choice to buy the PS3 or not, whoever is buying a PS3 BELIEVE ME, knows what a bluray is..

BLURAYS aren't in every computer, blurays aren't the only players out there..

bluray and hddvd have the same chance when it comes to consumer choice..

PS: I really ain't sure why SONY's being investigated, I'm going with your explanation..

I was just trying to give mi opinion on why I don't think the situation with bluray and hddvd is similar to what microsoft was doing.. :)

the_round_peg3584d ago (Edited 3584d ago )

Whoooop: "No one forces you to choose Windows, linux etc cause you build your computer. (key word here BUILD).. but the people that didn't have that knowledge were the ones that Microsoft was manipulating.."

Actually, if you order your computer from Dell or most other companies, you can ask them to pre-install Linux instead of Windows. In fact, some would even make that suggestion to you over the phone.

(I called them, but I always ended up building my own computers because they never had the exact specifications I wanted.)

----------

Whoooop: "Even today most of the computers and laptop comes with vista with all their features and apps, but at least this time around common people are seeing a choice with mac."

Apple has always been a choice. Apple has its strong points, but most people don't choose Apple or Mac for some good reasons.

Hey, if someone wants to give me a Mac as a gift, I'd gladly take it. But I'd never pay for a Mac. (Then again, I have never paid for a computer that I could not modified or freely add/remove components especially graphic cards.)

P.S. As the matter of fact, Mac by itself is more "monopoly" than a Windows PC. For a Windows PC, I can pick and choose what components I want in the PC, and none of them is made by Microsoft. On the other hand, everything inside a Mac is "bundled" and came from Apple -- I don't get a choice. I have to get the whole package: I don't get the individual choices in a mac, which I have for PC.

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Whoooop: "that's not even on topic.. people have the choice to buy the PS3 or not, whoever is buying a PS3 BELIEVE ME, knows what a bluray is.."

I suppose that's why PS3 is struggling in the marketplace. Maybe that's a sign that most people are saying NO to blu-ray.

And I don't believe you: you can't say that EVERY SINGLE person who bought a PS3 knew what a blu-ray is beforehand. (Actually, a lot of people don't know what a blu-ray is. A while ago, I saw a funny video of a guy who went to E3 2006 last year, and he asked the booth babes what a blu-ray is, and all the ladies were completely clueless.)

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Whooop: "BLURAYS aren't in every computer, blurays aren't the only players out there.."

By the same token, Windows isn't in every computer either; Windows isn't the only OS out there.

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Whooop: "bluray and hddvd have the same chance when it comes to consumer choice.."

For the moment, I choose neither. I'm happy with DVD.

That's why PS3 is suffering in sales: consumers decide they don't want to pay extra for blu-ray (or any HD format) for the moment.

When the prices of blu-ray and blu-ray discs (and PS3) come down, then I'll think about it.

Whoooop3584d ago (Edited 3584d ago )

we will be back and forth with this cause you don't get my point..

Yes I understand people have the choice and always had it.. Nowadays choice is clear. My point has been that WHEN MICROSOFT WAS LEGALLY PROSECUTED (at that time), people didn't have much of a choice when buying a computer..

YES Obviously people can build their own computers online, but like I said THE MASS, most of the people who aren't that good on technology and are looking for an office or home PC will get the first they can find.. and guess what?? yeah with VISTA..

If you go right now to dell.com and you try to buy a desktop you'll see that it comes with vista and if you want to build one you don't have much of a choice either..

MY POINT IS AND WILL ALWAYS BE , at that time Microsoft was monopolizing period. They couldn't prove it, but common O.J. was not guilty go figure..

you can never compare the bluray situation with the one that Microsoft had NEVER.. People know of hddvd as much as bluray, hell I dare to say that the common people knows more about HDDVD..

Like I said before.. bluray and hddvd are equally distributed and marketed..

when you see 90% of computers and laptops with bluray only players, when you see bluray players exclusively on 90% of retailers etc.
THEN you can say the situation is similar..

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 3584d ago
Apocalypse Shadow3584d ago (Edited 3584d ago )

i bought a new computer and asked for xp.and i was told it was "discontinued."& quot ;not supported.""we're supporting vista now."

so now i have a fast processor,but vista is way slow because of lack of ridiculous amounts of ram.it's decent but i could be flying through applications.

but anyway,companies can decide to support whatever format they want.like sony themselves(and their sub companies) were going to release their movies on hd-dvd.h3llllsssss noooooo!!!

we need to find out why hd-dvd is losing.because it's an inferior format.bluray holds more and can display the same codecs.why is the honda not beating the mclaren f1?because the mother f*cker is slower.duh!!

the hd-dvd camp lobbied(read:cried and complained) to the commission in getting movies on their format."thems the breaks man!"you supported the wrong disc sh!theads."we were winning and now we are getting our @ss whooped!"get over it.you bought a LASER DISC.you bought a BETA.wwwaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!

it's like mature nintendo wii gamers crying to the esrb in getting more adult content on nintendo's system.if you wanted more adult games,you bought the wrong system chief.

uhhhhhhhh...uuuhhhh.....waaaa aaaaaaa!!!

and look at the bottom of the wall street journal's page:sponsored by "TOSHIBA."isn't that special?

Strange3584d ago

add bubble for noticing "sponsered by Toshiba".

sharp eyes.

Use the law when you don't have any other way of beating the competition.
Real clever.

Like a shadow I am3584d ago

That's a dynamic ad banner. It changes every time for everyone.

The article is written by Wall Street Journal editorial. Wall Street Journal is among the most reputable journalism, but all you Sony fanboys and Sony Defense League noobs would disagree whenever a newspaper publishes a piece that says anything negative about Sony.

amerz3584d ago (Edited 3584d ago )

Microsoft is guilty of many offenses. Sony, and the entire Blu-ray consortium is not. Blu-ray has superior protection which is stated as a key reason Fox and Disney chose it.

BR and HD-DVD had the exact same chance. IN FACT, Fox chose HD-DVD before Blu-ray, look it up. Blu-ray was revealed to have superior protection, and therefore, the choice in HD-DVD's favour was revoked.

PS3 being used a driver for Blu-ray is a brilliant, fair business tactic. Consumers do not have to choose a PS3 over a 360 or Wii, or a PS3 as a BR player over an HD-DVD player.

Ktchong, you're a huge fanboy who doesn't even like PS3 or Sony, questioning what you'd do if you wanted a PS3 but not a BR player is a see through ploy. You can't. The PS3 needs BR for its games. It does and will continue to contribute to games, it'll be easy to see this year. It's not just for watching movies.

EDIT @ BELOW
Oh I did shut him up that way too. And yes, the Xbots are rampant around these parts.

Like a shadow I am3584d ago

You can shut him up by giving him negative.

I notice that you have only two bubbles, which means a lot of people have been trying to shut YOU up. LOL.

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