The licensing strategies of the competing next-generation DVD standards, HD-DVD and Blu-ray, are to be investigated by European antitrust officials.

A Reuters report cites an EC (European Commission) spokesman, who would say only: "We sent a letter earlier this month to the makers of HD-DVD and Blu-ray to request information about licensing."

The EC wants to know whether the licensing terms of the DVD formats could break EU (European Union) competition rules.

The investigation is at an early stage, but will become a formal inquiry if regulators feel licensing terms break the conditions of EU competition law.