Sony Under investigation for Anti Trust Violations

TOKYO (AP) - Japanese electronics giants Sony, Toshiba and Hitachi said Tuesday that their optical disc drive operations are under investigation by U.S. authorities for possible antitrust violations.

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ChozenWoan3278d ago

Sounds like MS is flexing it's political influence to strike back at the Blu-Ray group after HD-DVD lost the format war. Sad thing is, HD-DVD might of won the war had MS fully supported it by having HD-DVD in each XBox360. Sony and company only won due to the number of BDD on the market thanks to PS3 sales. Yet at the time there was more 360s on the streets, which had they all included a HD-DVD the format market would likely have ended in MS's favor.

ReviewsArePolitics3278d ago (Edited 3278d ago )

What's the "sad" thing? That HD-DVD lost? HD-DVD was inferior technology, so it's actually a "happy" thing. They weren't even able to replicate Blu-ray's dual layer capacity with a three layer capacity, and worse, they couldn't even make 3-layered burnable HD-DVDs, so how is that good?

Furthermore, why would Microsoft bundle HD-DVD with every 360 sold? It was not in their interest to make HD-DVD a viable format as they want discs to die once and for all, and they had little to gain from it. Furthermore, bundling HD-DVD would have made the 360 more expensive AND would have delayed it to launch next to PS3. The outcome of the format war would have been exactly the same in that case, as the 360 with the same price and launching later would have made the 360 fail, as everyone that didn't get the PS3 because they "didn't want to wait" or because PS3 was "too expensive" wouldn't have gotten a 360. In fact, PS3 would be in a much better place and it would have sold a lot more, so Blu-ray victory would have been almost certain, and in fact even better for Sony as more HDTVs would have sold and therefore more potential Blu-ray adopters in the future. 360 would have completely failed, or at least they would be in a very distant 3rd place.

Anyway, sounds like you are glad that Sony is getting sued (though Toshiba is also getting sued, did you even read the article?), and that supposedly Microsoft is "flexing its political influence" (even though there's no mention of Microsoft in the article, so how did you inferr that anyway?). Something smells fishy and it points in your direction, my bullsh1t alarm is ringing very very hard.

sikbeta3278d ago

"Sony and company only won due to the number of BDD on the market thanks to PS3 sales"

What are you saying, is basically called Support From Major Companies

Electronic Industries
Film industry

Saying to you: HELLO...

Pillage053278d ago

I don't understand how Microsoft could have anything to do with this. Sony are under investigation for possible violation of Anti-Trust laws, as in they are trying to determine if they are creating a monopoly. The most likely scenario is they are under investigation for price fixing. The idea is that BD has been out for a few years now, and it has no other competitors in the high definition drive area so they have to make sure they aren't setting the price too high. I doubt they will have many issues because prices have been falling on Blu-ray drives.

Those laws are in place for this very reason, Since Blu-ray doesn't have any competitors they don't have the reason of competition to find ways to lower the price of their products. Although I think they have plenty of reason to worry about price since they still need to start chipping away at the dvd audience. Really microsoft couldn't have anything to do with this.

And your comment about how HD-DVD might have won the format war if they included it with ever Xbox360, well you don't take a lot of things into account such as price increase, and possible delay of the system. This would be a completely different console war had MS made that one decision.

And I would think every consumer would be happy BD won the format war. Any way you look at it, BD is more future proof than HD-DVD was. Especially since it appears they are going to able to add multiple layers to BD and still be read on any blu-ray drive with a simple software update, which the ps3 is capable of, and I believe most of stand alone blu-ray players.

CryWolf3278d ago (Edited 3278d ago )

This tells me that MS and their partnership with Toshiba is Suing Sony over blu-ray sales now cause Sony is making that money back with every PS3 slim/blu-ray player that is sold after the price drop.

PirateThom3278d ago

Even though Toshiba is one of the companies being investigated?

It's also not just Blu-ray, it's optical drive operations in general.

ChozenWoan3277d ago

I just look at the whole format war with open eyes and can see both sides of the picture. MS had a lot to gain from HD-DVD as they where a major contributor and was in position to get a nice royalty for each disc sold. Instead they ended up on the short end and Sony holding all of the Discs... I mean cards.

"In an attempt to avoid a costly format war, the Blu-ray Disc Association and DVD Forum started to negotiate a compromise in early 2005. One of the issues was that Blu-ray's supporters wanted to use a Java-based platform for interactivity (BD-J), while the DVD Forum was promoting Microsoft's "iHD" (which became HDi).[16] A much larger issue, though, was the physical formats of the discs themselves; the Blu-ray Disc Association's member companies did not want to risk losing billions of dollars in royalties as they had done with standard DVD.[17] An agreement seemed close, but negotiations proceeded slowly.[18]

At the end of June 2005, Sun announced that the Blu-ray Association had chosen the Java-based BD-J interactivity layer instead of Microsoft's HDi. This was based on a BDA board vote favouring BD-J 10 to 4, despite a technical committee previously favouring HDi by a vote of 7 to 5.[19] At the same time, Microsoft and Toshiba jointly announced that they would cooperate in developing high-definition DVD players.[20] In a top-level meeting in July, Microsoft's Bill Gates argued that the Blu-ray standard had to change to "work more smoothly with personal computers". The Blu-ray Disc's representatives defended the technology.[21]

On August 22, 2005, the Blu-ray Disc Association and DVD Forum announced that the negotiations to unify their standards had failed.[22] Rumors surfaced that talks had stalled; publicly, the same reasons of physical format incompatibility were cited.[17][21] In the end of September, Microsoft and Intel jointly announced their support for HD DVD.[23]

Hewlett Packard (HP) made a last ditch attempt to broker a deal between the Blu-ray Disc Association and Microsoft. HP proposed that the Blu-ray association adopt Microsoft's proprietary HDi, instead of the Java based system, and that Blu-ray adopt a mandatory managed copy feature. If their demands weren't met, HP said that they would support HD DVD instead.[24] In a research report, Gartner analysts Van Baker, Laura Behrens and Mike McGuire wrote that if HP's proposal were accepted, Blu-ray would become the winner of the format war.[25] Though the Blu-ray Disc group did add mandatory managed copy to Blu-ray, they did not add HDi.[26]

HD DVD players and movies were released in the United States on April 18, 2006,[27] The first Blu-ray Disc titles were released on June 20, 2006 and the first movies using dual layer discs Blu-ray (50 GB) were introduced in October 2006.


The Blu-ray Disc Foundation was formed by Hitachi, LG, Panasonic, Pioneer, Philips, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, and Thomson in May 20, 2002.[29] Other early supporters included Dell, HP, Mitsubishi and TDK.[30] Blu-ray Disc Association was inaugurated on October 4, 2004 by 14 companies of Board of Directors which added 20th Century Fox to the 13 above-mentioned companies, Contributors of 22 companies, General members of 37 companies, and a total of 73 companies.

Non-exclusive support by Acer, Asus, HP, Hitachi Maxell, Kenwood, LG, Lite-On, Onkyo, Meridian, Samsung,[31] and Alpine.

Toshiba, NEC, Sanyo, Memory-Tech Corporation started HD DVD Promotion Group[32] in September 27, 2004. Included Microsoft, RCA, Intel, Venturer Electronics. In Europe, HD DVD was supported either exclusively or non-exclusively by Medusa Home Entertainment, Studio Canal, Universum Films, Kinowelt Home Entertainment, DVD International, Opus Arte, MK2, Momentum Pictures, Twister Home Video, among others.[citation needed]

During the height of the format war, some studios supported both formats, including Paramount Pictures (including subsidiaries Nickelodeon Movies, MTV Films, DreamWorks Pictures and DreamWorks Animation), BBC,[33] First Look Studios,[34] Image Entertainment (including the Discovery Channel),[35] Magnolia Pictures,[36] Brentwood Home Video, Ryko and Koch/Goldhil Entertainment.[37]
[edit] Deciding factors

The format war's resolution in favor of Blu-ray was primarily decided by two factors: shifting business alliances, including decisions by major film studios and retail distributors,[38] and Sony's decision to include a Blu-ray player in the PlayStation 3 video game console.[39][40]"

Since MS was shut out of the Blu-Ray Royalties, they are now attacking those who are reaping the rewards of Blu-Ray's success. Since they can't buy or intimidate the competition, they are using the government in much the same way Apple and others did against MS over Windows dominance.

As a gamer, it's wise to know see beyond the current battlefield in this console war.

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