Re: New internet law needed...
Simpler than that even.
Betamax was owned by Sony and anyone wanting to make a compatible player or tape had to pay a license fee per unit to Sony.
VHS was owned by JVC and offered on a free use basis.
By the time Sony woke up, smelled the coffee and cancelled their rakeoff, it was too late. World + Dog was already churning out VHS stuff en masse.
Note also that while Beta was better in picture terms, VHS murdered it in sound. Technically it's a one-all draw.