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Web Video Rivalry Sparks U.S. Probe

“The Justice Department is investigating whether a group
representing some top technology firms is unfairly trying to
smother a free rival technology for delivering online video that is
backed by Google Inc., according to people familiar with the
matter.

“Much the way firms battled in the 1980s over VHS and Betamax
video formats, tech rivals are fighting over the technology used to
deliver and display Web video. Currently, video-streaming services
like Netflix Inc. and Google’s YouTube pay patent royalties, as do
makers of Blu-ray disc players and other hardware.

“These firms pay royalties to an organization called MPEG LA,
which is the target of the formal antitrust probe”


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