SONY HAS ADMITTED that it is being investigated by US antitrust regulators and expects Inspectors Knacker of the Yards of many nations to carry out similar probes.
At the heart of the problem is Sony's optical disk drive operation. US officials are looking at possible violations of antitrust regulations and no one is saying much else.
Sony Optiarc America supplies a lineup of optical disk drives, including those for DVDs, CD-ROMs, CD-Rs and Blu-ray disks.
Sony is not saying what products are under investigation. However the rumour mill suggests it has something to do with Blu-ray.
Analysts have been wondering why Blu-ray prices have remained high even though the technology has been commercially available for over three years. HD-DVD has been gone for nearly two-thirds of that time and one would have expected costs to have declined by now. The fact that they haven't is causing some to question whether or not Sony is doing something to keep the prices up.
Sony invested a lot of cash in creating and promoting Blu-ray and the take-up has not been nearly as fast as it had hoped.
However if antitrust investigations will be looking into that, they could be bad news for the take-up of the technology too. µ