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.
"According to sources “familiar with the situation,” cited by the Journal, investigators seem particularly interested in statements made by some Blu-ray executives at the Consumer Electronics Show in January regarding certain studios’ exclusivity to Blu-ray.
In their formal request to one studio, the Journal reports, investigators sought information about the studios’ decision to release movies exclusively on Blu-ray and not on HD DVD. The request also asked for records of any communications regarding both formats with certain “individuals associated with Blu-ray.”