European antitrust officials are examining the licensing strategies of the competing next-generation DVD standards, HD-DVD and Blu-ray.

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

The Commission wants to know whether the licensing terms of the DVD formats could break European Union competition rules.

It's an early stage investigation, which will become a formal inquiry if regulators feel licensing terms break the conditions of EU competition law.