Toshiba Corp. may pull the plug on its high-definition DVD format, the Japanese electronics maker said, the Associated Press reports.

Toshiba has started a review of its HD DVD business, it said after reports by the Wall Street Journal and Kyodo News agency that Toshiba was considering pulling out after losing ground to the competing Blu-ray disc format.

The Journal, citing people familiar with the situation, reported Sunday that the company was likely to pull out this week. That would signal the almost certain defeat of HD DVD to Blu-ray, which is backed by Sony Corp., five Hollywood movie studios and others.

Blu-ray disc format has been gaining market share while Toshiba has been forced to slash prices to sell its HD DVD machines. On Friday, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said it would sell only Blu-ray DVDs and hardware.

The announcement came five days after Netflix Inc. said it would cease carrying rentals in HD DVD. Several major U.S. retailers have made similar decisions.

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