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UltraViolet to Launch in Germany, France in Fall

BERLIN - Sony Pictures has confirmed the launch online digital film service UltraViolet in Germany and France this fall. The service, already up and running in North America, the U.K., Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, will roll out in continental Europe in the second half of the year, most likely in September.

STORY: UltraViolet Set for Expansion in Europe

David Bishop, president of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, confirmed the German launch in an interview with business daily Handelsblatt, saying the studio has received "positive feedback" from major retailers in the region. In the United States, UltraViolet digital locker service is supported by such big box stores as Walmart and Best Buy.

The big six major studios -- Sony, Fox, Paramount, Warner Bros., NBCUniversal and DreamWorks -- along with minimajor Lionsgate, are backing the UltraViolet service, which allows customers to stream licensed films and TV series on multiple. devices. UltraViolet's worldwide rollout is seen as a major challenge to iTunes, which dominates the legal download business worldwide.