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Tesco vs Hollywood in DVD battle

Warner is petitioned by Tesco to cut UK DVD prices

Supermarket chain Tesco is petitioning Hollywood to end regional zoning on DVDs to ensure prices drop to US levels, which are reckoned to be around 30 percent cheaper than here.

The company has written a letter to Warner Home Video president, Warren Lieberfarb, claiming that regional zoning is a barrier to trade and is keeping UK DVD prices artificially high.

Tesco is also challenging the zoning system by selling a player that converts easily to region-free, the Wharfdale DVD-750.

At present, the world is divided into six DVD regions. Films will only play on machines bought in the corresponding region. In its letter, Tesco accuses Hollywood's use of regional zoning of being "against the spirit of free competition".

"We're committed to bringing down prices," stated Tesco World Sourcing director, Christine Cross. "If we find a practice that we believe is keeping prices too high, we'll fight to change it so prices come down."

The Wharfdale DVD player goes on sale at 400 Tesco stores this week for £179.99.

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