Online DVD stores boycott Fox over pricing

Are DVD prices getting out of hand? Some online vendors think so, but should consumers have the final say?

A number of online DVD retailers have announced a sales boycott of Twentieth Century Fox offerings in protest at the company's prices.

The group includes retailers DVDnet, DVD Warehouse, and Titan DVD, plus a number of DVD Internet news lists and sites, including DVD News and DVD Debate, which have promised a media blackout of Fox products.

Titanic, which was Fox's first foray into the DVD market, is priced at up to £30 and contains none of the extra features that are a standard attraction on DVD releases, such as bonus interviews and add-ons. In the US, Titanic retails for just $14.99. The group is concerned that if Fox continues to impose high prices on its DVD releases it will drive up the prices of other studio's offerings.

"We have stopped promoting all new Fox titles until we get confirmation of pricing," said Paul Brennan, managing director of DVDNet. "I have heard some talk at Columbia about increasing its prices if it sees Fox getting away with it."

However, major online retailers DVDPlus, DVDWorld and Blackstar are continuing to stock the title, believing that it customers, rather than retailers, must determine demand and market price. Bryan Welsh, managing director DVDPlus, said "We originally withdrew Titanic in response to Fox's pricing but decided to re-stock it following emails from customers who said they wanted to make up their own minds."

Welsh also suggests that Fox may have already seen the error of its ways, "I've heard this morning that all Fox titles will retail for £19.99 from December," he said.

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