Sony's $400 Million Hit Man
The next-generation DVD format war was a costly one–for Sony (SNE). In addition to the untold funds the company spent on pro-Blu-ray propaganda, it also reportedly spent quite a bit to buy the allegiances of Hollywood.
The Toronto Globe and Mail reports that Sony paid Warner Bros. as much as $400 million to throw its support behind Blu-ray and abandon HD-DVD. An interesting little footnote to the DVD format war, since Warner’s decision all but sealed HD DVD’s fate.
So it was a reported $400 million well spent, then. For the time being, anyway. “People are saying Blu-ray won the war but who cares,” Seagate CEO Bill Watkins said last year. “The war is over physical distribution versus electrical distribution, and Blu-ray and HD lost that. In this, flash memory and hard drives are on the same side. The war is over and the physical guys lost.”