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EC Probe into Blu-ray and HD DVD Business Practices

In an effort to ensure fair trade in Europe, the European Commission (EC) has launched a general inquiry into the business practices of the Blu-ray and HD DVD formats as it pertains to alliances with Hollywood studios.  The EC is requesting documents from all major Hollywood studios for all documentation and correspondence between the studios and the Blu-ray and HD DVD camps.  This is the initial steps in a possible larger inquiry into anti-trust and anti-competitive practices that lead the various studios to announce loyalty to one format or another.  This is not a full investigation at this point, merely a fact finding process to determine if there were any unfair actions taken by either the Blu-ray or HD DVD camps in persuading the studios to back their format over the other.

I can’t say what the outcome will be of this inquiry and it may turn into nothing, but it comes during a critical time for the formats as they battle for supremacy.  If the EC determines that either format did not compete fairly when dealing with the studios, it could have repercussions throughout the industry.  Then again, it could turn in to a fishing expedition with no results.  Only time will tell and we’ll bring it to you when we know more.

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