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Following the money in the format war

Steven Kim

Everyone knows that the outcome of the Blu-ray / HD DVD format war has huge financial stakes. Reporters, then, take the "Follow the money" approach. At Europe's IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin this week, attempts to do so turned up no solid evidence to clarify things. Onstage execs from Warner Bros., Fox, MGM and Sony all denied that they received payola from the BDA. The response from Stephen Foulser, Disney's European Marketing VP, was only slightly more illuminating -- "no comment." This comes on the heels of reports that Paramount and DreamWorks picked up a $150 million check for their 18-month HD DVD exclusivity. The mystery and intrigue in this format war are fitting for a movie, but which format would it be released on?

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