Complaints About Anticompetitive Behavior Mask Next-Gen DVDs' Real Problems
from the see-no-evil dept
The next generation of DVD technology — both the Blu-ray and HD DVD flavors — haven’t received a particularly warm reception from consumers, who look to have little interest in expensive new DVD players that don’t offer a lot of easily perceivable benefits. The manufacturers themselves have done plenty to make the technologies unattractive, but now the EU’s looking into anticompetitive behavior from the Blu-ray camp, with HD DVD’s backers complaining about several studios signing exclusive deals with Blu-ray. This all seems slightly ridiculous. While Blu-ray has taken a larger share of the next-gen DVD market, that market remains tiny. Furthermore, the behavior that’s holding back the overall market isn’t some studios choosing only to make Blu-ray discs; it’s the fundamental problems of a fragmented market with two groups selling a product nobody wants. If the EU is able to craft some sort of penalty or corrective behavior here, it’s not going to help the market move forward, and it’s not going to magically boost HD DVD sales. Like with the groups’ obsession with pointless copy protection, the focus here is somewhere other than it needs to be. HD DVD’s problems don’t stem from the Blu-ray camp’s behavior. They stem from a flawed product and business model, and the focus should be on fixing those.