WB: HD DVD a victim of anti-trust? - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 01-12-2008, 08:53 AM
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Default WB: HD DVD a victim of anti-trust?

I went on and got this letter from another site and sent it to...

South Carolina Dept. of Consumer Affairs
Office of Policy and Coordination/Bureau of Competition (USFTC)
US Federal Trade Commission
Henry McMaster: South Carolina's Attorney General


I'll probably include US Senators and Congressmen from SC along with many others. I encourage you all to do the same. Even if you just copy and paste this letter in an e-mail, your voice can and will be heard.



To Whom It May Concern,

I would like to make a formal request that you investigate possible anti-competition/Antitrust violations by Warner Brothers Studio to drop the High Definition DVD (HD-DVD) movie disc format in favor of exclusive support of it's main competitor, the Blu-ray disc (BD) format. It is rumored that Warnerís support was purchased by a $500 Million plus incentive from the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA).

The reasons for my request are as follows:

1)There are rumors that Warner was given incentives anywhere between $500 and $620 Million dollars. Some news agencies have reported amounts even higher in exchange for their decision to abandon HD-DVD. 20th Century Fox is also rumored to have been rewarded as well. Before the move, about 50% of studio content were available on the HD-DVD format, but with Warner's decision, this reduces it greatly as they are the largest studio.

2) This money is rumored to have been paid to Warner by the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA), which is the organizing body of the Blu-ray disc format, which is the direct competitor to the HD-DVD format which was dropped.

3) The move has been widely interpreted by the industry as an attempt to deal a "death blow" to the HD DVD format and eliminate the competitor. According to various observers it has been a mortal blow that could be the beginning of the end for the HD-DVD format, if allowed to stand.

4) The move effectively means that Warner customers looking to buy Hi Definition optical media will only be able to do so on Blu-ray disc after May 1, 2008.

5) The move means that over 1 Million existing customers on HD-DVD will no longer be able to get Warner Bros, Home Box Office, New Line Cinema and all other Warner subsidiaries on HD-DVD after May 2008.

6) HD-DVD dedicated players, drives bought for the sole purpose of playing movies, have been selling at entry prices of $99, $129 and $199. These have been far more affordable than the typical Blu-ray players, which have sold for closer to $300 at the low-end due to the "discounting" obsolete "initial profile" players. If HD DVD is eliminated, the HD consumer may be forced to pay higher prices for up to date BD players. The typical Blu-ray player costs roughly $399.00.

7) As of late 2007, HD-DVD dedicated players, bought specifically for the purpose of playing movies, had been estimated to have sold about 900,000+ units (including 296,000 "add-on" dedicated players), compared to 350,000 equivalent units by Blu-ray. I do not include the Playstation 3 game consoles, as these are said to have been mostly purchased primarily to play games, not movies.

7.b) The Same estimates put HD-DVD standalones in Europe at 150,000 units, compared with 50,000 Blu-ray standalone players.

8) It is said by various insiders that the Blu-ray disc format (BD) has far less disc manufacturing capacity than the HD-DVD disc format. In Laymenís terms, that could mean that either less discs would be available to consumers if Blu-ray were the only format, and/or that the disc manufacturing constraints could possibly cause the Blu-ray companies to artificially maintain higher prices on Blu-ray players for the foreseeable future until they have installed more replication capable sites.

9) The Blu-ray format is a proprietary disc format invented and mostly controlled (through the BDA) by Sony Corp. Sony also controls various studios under the Sony Pictures umbrella, such as Columbia-Tristar, and also controls 20% of the MGM Studios company. I am concerned that if HD-DVD were to be killed off by the Warner decision, Sony may have an unfair advantage. I am also concerned about these rumors as I fear it may indicate that Sony and the BDA may have exercised an unfair advantage in eliminating HD-DVD from the marketplace. For just a moment, imagine that one (1) company owns the distribution, format, production lines, etc, etc. That to the average American, is clearly a violation of the US Anti-Trust laws.

10) I am a consumer who would be harmed by the event. I believe that there are over a million buyers of HD-DVD players. We would likely be forced to purchase more expensive Blu-ray players if HD-DVD were eliminated. Otherwise, we would no longer be able to get content from Warner on HD-DVD, or possible any studios at all if HD-DVD were to be eliminated by this action, rendering our purchases of little value.

11) I also believe that were HD-DVD to be eliminated, many, many, millions of consumers would have less choice and would likely pay artificially controlled higher prices for high definition (HD) disc players in the future.

I ask that you investigate these rumors that both Warner and 20th Century Fox were paid "incentives" in consideration for their decisions against HD-DVD. Also for the very damaging timing of Warner's public statement on the matter two (2) days before an important press conference they were to attend jointly with the HD-DVD consortium.


Yours sincerely,
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Old 01-12-2008, 08:56 AM
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The key words that could lead into problems are "rumor" and "rumored".

You'd have to prove this. So they'd need to force Warner to open their books.
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Old 01-12-2008, 09:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blinx123 View Post
The key words that could lead into problems are "rumor" and "rumored".

You'd have to prove this. So they'd need to force Warner to open their books.


I wouldn't have to prove anything. By launching an initial investigation and if any wrong-doing is found, the entities could then go through the courts to get the "books" opened.

Here are the appropiate addresses:

Federal Trade Commission
Consumer Response Center
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20580

E-mail: [email protected]


Office of Policy and Coordination
Room 394
Bureau of Competition
Federal Trade Commission
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20580


Attorney General
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001

E-mail: [email protected]
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Old 01-12-2008, 09:14 AM
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Ok. I'll write them.

BTW: What's best to put inside the topic line of the email?
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Old 01-12-2008, 09:14 AM
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Ok, I understand the letter but in all honesty, most of the studios are being paid in some type of way for their exclusivity. Many Blu-ray fans did the same when Paramount left and it didnt get anywhere. Unfortunately this is how it works.
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Old 01-12-2008, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blinx123 View Post
Ok. I'll write them.

BTW: What's best to put inside the topic line of the email?


If you want to, just copy and paste my letter and use that as your template so to speak. It's a lot easier that way.

Don't forget to contact your local state attorney general.
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Old 01-12-2008, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timbobarry View Post
Ok, I understand the letter but in all honesty, most of the studios are being paid in some type of way for their exclusivity. Many Blu-ray fans did the same when Paramount left and it didnt get anywhere. Unfortunately this is how it works.


That doesn't make it legal nor does it promote a healthy competition.

Looking up "Anti-Trust" laws, it would appear from the outside that Warner did violate the law. I'm not an expert, but that's the way I read it.

By Sony controlling the distribution, replication, processing lines, etc, etc. That is a monopoly plain and simple.
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Old 01-12-2008, 09:20 AM
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My topic line was...

Warner Bros Anti-Trust Complaint
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Old 01-12-2008, 09:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REDMAN View Post
My topic line was...

Warner Bros Anti-Trust Complaint
Damn. I'm an idiot. I used to have a topic line nearly as long as the whole email text
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Old 01-12-2008, 09:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REDMAN View Post
If you want to, just copy and paste my letter and use that as your template so to speak. It's a lot easier that way.

Don't forget to contact your local state attorney general.
Gosh. I actually don't know who that is

I'm living in Germany and the lawsystem isn't that widely spread here as Europeans aren't that good at sueing others like you Americans used to be
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