Lawyers in Class Action Suit Vs. EA are Seeking Madden Buyers to Join In

Gamers who purchased a copy of Madden from August, 2005 onward may be eligible to join a class action suit against publisher Electronic Arts.

Pecover vs. EA (all GP coverage here) is currently proceeding in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The suit alleges that EA’s exclusive licensing deal with the NFL and NFL Players Association created a monopoly situation which EA exploited by substantially raising the retail price for a copy of Madden.

In a story broken recently by GamePolitics, an expert witness hired by the plaintiffs theorized that EA’s exclusive NFL/NFLPA license may have cost consumers nearly a billion dollars. Lawyers for EA have disputed that claim in court documents.

In a press release issued on Friday, Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, the law firm representing consumers in the case, provides a link where Madden buyers can learn more about the suit and potentially join as additional plaintiffs.

Lead attorney Steve Berman, quoted in the press release, pulled no punches in his assessment of EA’s position regarding Madden:

There is nothing wrong with good, strong competition in a free market, but we believe EA rigged the game to take advantage of consumers.

EA knows that the demand for these games is based on how realistically the players and teams are portrayed. When EA signed into exclusive agreements it knowingly killed the only competing game of comparable quality, [Take-Two’s] NFL 2K5.

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  1. 0
    aIM hERE says:

    Err, but I, didn’t sign any contract with the NFL or with any football player, so what’s to stop ME putting some player’s likeness in a game without asking ANYONE’S permission, the way I could do in a documentary or a book or a newspaper? Nobody owns their own likeness to the extent that they can stop newspapers writing about them, how come they own their likeness in a manner that stops people making games about them?

    Just so long as I’m not saying demonstrably false things about the players, why on earth can’t I make my own unofficial game based around the NFL?

    The fact you don’t seem to understand what I mean is ironic, given your sig!


  2. 0
    JDKJ says:

    If the rights to the license, as you put it, "fall to the licensor," then what, pray tell, has the licensee purchased? Do you ever stop and think before typing?

    "Hey, Buddy! Wanna license some rights from me? Of course, if you license these rights from me, they don’t come with any ability for you to enforce their non-infrigement because I’m gonna hang on to that ability. So, if someone infringes the rights granted by your license once you’ve purchased it from me, you’ve got nothing you can do to stop them from infringing. We gotta deal?"

    Jesus Christ!! I can’t believe you said that crap the first time. That you would boldly repeat it has me picking up my lower jaw off the floor. 

    Here’s what you should do: rip-off and release your own version of Madden and see how long it takes for EA’s lawyers to crawl up your ass with a lawsuit.

  3. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    Actually, that is the case, because of the fact that the rights to the license fall to the licensor.  Therefore, it is their responsibility to protect said rights.

    Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone’s feelings.

  4. 0
    JDKJ says:

    Law is one of those things much like medicine. To those who are knowledgable in the field, it becomes immediately apparent when someone who isn’t is full of . . . bluster. Just to pick on the most obvious piece of your bluster, if you seriously think that an exclusive licensee has no recourse for infrigement of that license and that all recourse lies solely with the licensor, then you have absolutely no idea – none whatsoever – what you’re talking about. 

  5. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    You can’t be operating a trust if you were sold exclusive rights to distirbute a product and are selling that product at the same price as everyone else with a similar product is selling theirs.  Unless someone was able to argue that football video games with an NFL license are their own separate entity for legal purposes than any other games, you have no basis filing antitrust suits, because EA cannot prevent anyone from making football games.  Hell, EA can’t even stop anyone from making an NFL game.  That would fall under the purview of the NFL, being the license owner.

    Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone’s feelings.

  6. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    That doesn’t constitute a monopoly, because EA doesn’t control the whole industry.

    Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone’s feelings.

  7. 0
    JDKJ says:

    The current and prevailing pricing scheme is irrelevant. You need to make your comparisons going all the way back to and from August 2005, the point at which plaintiffs allege the price got hinky.

  8. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    As I stated before, all new games are sixty bucks.  If they charged MORE than sixty bucks for a new game, which, to my knowledge, they didn’t do, then you’d have a point.  However, they aren’t charging any more for their game than anyone else is according to an industry-wide standard pricing policy.

    Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone’s feelings.

  9. 0
    JDKJ says:

    Yes, you idiot. I want EA taken down so I can rush in and take over the market for sport-based videogames and demand a ransom of one million dollars. I’m secretly the leader of D.A.D.E.A. (Diabolical Association to Destroy Electronic Arts). Once I and my secret organization have accomplished this mission, we’ll be coming to your town to take it down, too. Then, we’ll move on to complete and total world domination. And a ransom demand of two million dollars. 

    There is antitrust. And there is antihistamines. As I pointed out to you before, you don’t know the difference between the two. Just like you don’t know the difference between shit and peanut butter. Or your own ass and a hole in the ground.

    You’re an idiot. A straight up, straight down, undiluted, pure, 100%, no artificial colors or flavors idiot.

  10. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    You’re the one trying to make a complicated thing simple by saying EA is a monopoly when it isn’t.  You’re bringing all of these things in that you clearly don’t know what your talking about when the fact of the matter is they haven’t done anything to prevent anyone from making a football game.  They haven’t done anything to prevent anyone from making an NFL game.   The NFL did.  In order to make an argument that EA owns a monopoly you have to prove that EA did, in fact, manipulate the industry to prevent other people from making games.  They didn’t, and no amount of bullshit you pull from your ass will change that.  Just admit that you’re arguing this because you want EA taken down.

    Never mind that the 2k series of sports games stopped being good after the Dreamcast.

    Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone’s feelings.

  11. 0
    JDKJ says:

    I’ve said repeatedly that there’s nothing illegal in either (a) the grant of an exclusive license from the NFL to EA or (b) a resulting monopoly over the market for NFL-based games by EA. I don’t suspect that’s the plaintiffs’ beef, either. The salient issue is using the monopoly market share to set the price of the product.

    And, if EA is indeed leveraging monopoly share, it doesn’t have to sell more units of Madden. All EA has to do is sell the same or less number of units at an increased price. That’s what a monopolist leveraging their monopoly does: they increase revenue and, accordingly, profit not by competitively selling more of their product but, rather, by selling it at an increased price while demand stays relatively flat. So, merely providing annual sales figures doesn’t do much of anything to support your case. That’s only the "X" axis of "demand." You’re missing the "Y" axis of "price." And a few other factors such as cost per unit, profit per unit, demand for the product had competing products been available etc., etc, etc. As I said, the econometrics required in determing if a product’s price has been monopoly-leveraged is a bit more sophisticated an analysis than you’re conducting.     

  12. 0
    Iwa says:


    Perhaps you’re not aware that the NFL has an antitrust exemption, which allows them to grant exclusive licensing contracts.  The basis of this lawsuit that EA created a monopoly and raised their prices which is incorrect.  The NFL awarded EA after a bidding process with their exclusive license.  The same as NASCAR, NCAA Football, and the AFL did.  MLB offered a similar but slightly different deal to Take Two.  Once again the NFL created the monopoly of Madden football, not EA.  The same as the NFL creates the monopoly of NFC games on FOX, AFC games on CBS, etc.  In essence the litigants are suing the wrong entity.  An argument can be made does the NFL and other professional sports have the ability to issue exclusive licensing for video games under their antitrust broadcast exemption.  But the litigants will need to sue the NFL directly.

    NFL 2k5 sold a total of 2.5 million. in 2004.*  Madden 05 sold 6.1 million.  Madden 06 sold 6.7 million.  Madden 07 sold 7.7 million.  Madden 08 sold 6.6 million.** Madden 09 sold 5.25 million for 2008. ***  In essence the elimination of the NFL 2k series and other NFL licensed games didn’t help Madden sell more units.

    Being a fan of both products does qualify me to state that the prices weren’t manipulated, except on Take Two’s case in 2004 for their marketing gimmick.






  13. 0
    JDKJ says:

    A monopolist doesn’t have to control a monopoly share of an entire industry in order to be a monopolist. They only need to control a monopoly share of the market for their particular product. Before you continue holding forth about a relatively complicated area of the law, might I suggest you first read "Antitrust Law in a Nutshell." It’ll give you an easily understood and fundamental explanation of the intricacies of antitrust law.

  14. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    That’s been the only argument to support the accusation of monopoly here, that, way back in 2005, T2 charged 20 bucks for their game, so in a few months, when Madden was selling like crap, they dropped their price.  Now that the price is back up to what it normally is (which it has been since 2006), you all claim it has to be a monopoly, even though they have no control over the rest of the industry. 

    Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone’s feelings.

  15. 0
    JDKJ says:


    I don’t know why you’d think my stating, simply and without adornment, the law of American antitrust is invalid. Are you saying that well-established law is invalid? If the market definition is accepted as "football games involving real-life, current and former NFL players," then the price at which the latest iteration of the GTA series was simultaneously retailing is of scant relevance. The GTA series is a dissimiliar product in a dissimiliar market. You can compare apples and oranges all day long, if you like, but you’ll invariably be left to draw the conclusion that those two things just ain’t exactly the same. On the other hand, if the market definition is, as you suggest, "all videogames," then EA couldn’t have possibly monopolized that market and plaintiffs’ theory therefore falls apart. But I’ll bet a dollar to your donut that your more expansive market definition doesn’t find favor with the Court. Is the average consumer who purchases The Sims equally inclined to purchase Halo? I ain’t so sure about that. 

    And all your other "blah, blah, blah" once again fails to account for market demand for Madden and what effect if any EA’s pricing before and after its aquisition of an exclusive license had on that demand. Until you do that, you’re not even beginning to meaningfully assess the possibility that their price was monopoly-leveraged.

    And being a long-standing fan of a product isn’t to me much of a qualification as an econometrician in the field. In fact, it would tend to make me question objectivity.

  16. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    So, a monopoly ensued, because they charged the same price for their game as ever other game, and lowered it four months later because it wasn’t selling due to supply-and-demand.  I’m not buying it.

    Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone’s feelings.

  17. 0
    Iwa says:

    Firstly, and so we’re clear, I’m saying EA didn’t inflate their prices.  That, I do know confidentially and factually.  This comes from buying years of EA Sports and 2K Sports titles. 

    I can claim EA didn’t price gouge due to EA released Madden at the same annual price as it always has.  With the exception of when the 360 was introduced and prices of all video games went up by $10.  A pricing scheme that was carried over the PS3.  As for your invalid claim of pricing of products in other markets, that thought bears no fruit.  Regardless of the genre of video game, all games are competitors of each other either directly or indirectly.  Directly by being in the same genre, indirectly by being in a different genre.  If it didn’t matter then there would be no point of releasing monthly NPD figures.  But let us forget that for a moment and get to the matter of the $19.99 price.  This was a marketing gimmick that Take Two used as a distributor, under the Global Star banner, of all Sega’s 2k5 sport titles that were released in the latter half of 2004.  Meaning NFL 2k5, NHL 2k5 & NBA 2k5.  When both NHL 2k6 and NBA 2k6 were released by 2K Sports they weren’t released at the $19.99 price from the prior year, they were released at the standard $49.99 price scheme for the PS2 and Xbox.  The same $49.99 price that SEGA relased the 2k3 sports titles and prior titles all the way back to the original 2k games on the Dreamcast. 

    As for your aside, video games for the most part have a short shelf life at their original MSRP.  It’s rare to see games selling for full price months after release. 

  18. 0
    JDKJ says:

    Firstly, and so we’re clear, I’m not saying EA did inflate their prices. That, I don’t know.

    Secondly, I don’t know that you can so confidently claimed they didn’t – at least not on the evidence provided. The econometrics of determining whether a price point has been monopoly-leveraged isn’t entirely by way of the analysis you posit. If the product market in question is "games based on current and former NFL players," then comparisons to the prices of products in other markets isn’t very meaningful. More importantly, the all-important demand factor and the effect on it of any price increases must be taken into consideration (the monopolist’s strength lies in their exclusive supply and the resulting ability to avoid decreases in demand in response to increases in price). I don’t think it’s enough to say that because the product was priced at the same price as all other products for a particular platform, it wasn’t a monopoly-leveraged price. 

    And, as an aside, some of the facts that you relate* actually tend to support more than not plaintiffs’ theory that EA wasn’t able to set the price it wanted with a competitor’s much lower priced product in the market and therefore EA eliminated that competitor by obtaining an exclusive license.


    * "[In] August of 2004 when NFL 2k5 was released at $19.99 and Madden 05 was released at $49.99.  EA didn’t drop the price of Madden until November, and when it did the price was $29.99 [a whopping 40% reduction]."


  19. 0
    Iwa says:

    EA didn’t artificially inflate their prices.  EA released Madden 05 at the standard price of the time of $49.99.  They lowered the price of the game in November by $20.  EA historically lowers the price of their sports games towards the end or at the end of the respective season of the sport.  When Madden 06 came out it was once again released at the standard price of $49.99 for all platforms except the Xbox 360 which was $59.99.  The same rate as all new releases on the new platform at that time.

  20. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    That’s because Madden 09 for the Wii was a fun, arcadey football game and people cried out about it being a fun, arcadey football game.  Most people who buy football games seem to want them to be sim-style.

    Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone’s feelings.

  21. 0
    Flamespeak says:

    While the case is doomed to fail, I understand the point he is making.

    Remember when the NFL 2k series was released at $20 a pop? EA HAD to lower their game’s price to compete, so Madden was available at $30.

    EA bought the exclusivity from the NFL and shut out the 2k series and suddenly their games were back up to $50. No reason for the increase except they know you had to go to them for your football games. 

    It still isn’t really a monopoly because someone could always make an arcade style football game with robots using a spiked human skull as the ball and audibles could utilize nukes and flamethrowers and such (might actually be a football game I would buy) but for some reason developers don’t want to touch football unless they can make it a sim instead of a fun, arcadey kind of game.

  22. 0
    Flamespeak says:

    Simply including a feature that would constantly update the stats of the players during the season would be the best way to make a sports game. You would lose the ability to milk people out of their cash year after year if you didn’t offer substantial gameplay changes though.

  23. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    A monopoly is controlling an entire industry.  Exclusive rights to certain IP’s are not monopolies.  Anti-trust laws (laws meant to prevent monopolies) were created to prevent a select few people from controlling a significant majority of an entire industry, so as to demand certain pricing requriements on products industry-wide.  Just because a game developer has exclusive rights to produce games based on another franchise (such as EA with NFL) does not constitue a monopoly, because they don’t effect the entire game industry, especially considering the NFL holds the rights to the NFL games, not EA.  You might be able to make an argument about having exclusive rights to the NFL does affect the whole industry, but you’d be wrong, because only four or five other developers ever had an NFL license, vs. the hundreds of developers worldwide.

    Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone’s feelings.

  24. 0
    Michael Chandra says:

    I’m sorry, but what argument of mine are you talking about? I criticized a flawed comparison, I never made any decision on this matter on which side is most likely to be in the right, nor did I have any interest in playing devil’s advocate. As such, I haven’t made an argument on why one of the two sides would be correct.

  25. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    Ya but you have to understand there comes a time when exclusivity become monopolistic and starts hurting consumers. EA and and the NFL are creating a innovation vacuum to make money for EA, this is a bad thing.

    If it was just part of the NFL then it would not be monopolistic but tis the whole sports genre, one could say the PS3 or 360 is monopolistic by not makign thier stuff PC compilable  but for a few million you can get in on PS3/360/PC development and for under a grand a year consumers can have it all as it were, so when everyone can be involved in it from either the top end or the end user its not monopolistic.

    Now if you say Halo should be on the other consoles because its a monopoly that to is incorrect…if you had it so all FPSs were on the 360 that would be a monopoly and because you can’t really have a football game without the NFL its a monopoly.


    Tthe end result is the IP owners are still making as much money but  are no longer stifling competition and innovation by allow ONE company to rake in profits and set prices and design limits.

    Until lobbying is a hanging offense I choose anarchy! Stop supporting big media and furthering the criminalization of consumers!!

  26. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    That has no bearing in this case.  The fact is, as I posted above, NFL holds the license, and can give it to whomever they want.  Suing EA isn’t going to do anything.  The only thing you could do would be to sue the NFL, but all lawsuits against the NFL for such matters have sided with the NFL.  This is clearly a case of not being able to sue the responsible parties, so we’ll try to get money elsewhere.

    Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone’s feelings.

  27. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    Every game is sixty bucks new, so you are an idiot.

    Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone’s feelings.

  28. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    The problem with your argument, along with anyone else who makes a monopoly claim, is that the NFL has the right to market itself in any way it feels like.  EA had to pay the NFL a shitton of money in order to secure that exclusive license, and the NFL can take it away for whatever reason it likes.  EA has little to do with it, because all of the rights are still owned by the NFL.  If the NFL didn’t want to continue it, they’d be able to sell their license to anyone, so complaining about EA is doomed to fail.

    Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone’s feelings.

  29. 0
    Michael Chandra says:

    Sorry but there’s a big difference between 1 game of a genre that has plenty of games of that type, only being released for one console, and an entire division of sport, subgenre, to only be available by one company meaning they don’t have to deal with competition as far as gameplay is concerned. That’s as if saying Scarface shouldn’t be X360 only, while there’s also GTA in that subgenre, and comparing that to all First Person Shooters being Wii-only.

  30. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    That’s what I’m saying.  It only goes to show that the reason people are going after EA is they don’t like EA, because there’s no basis for a cry of monopoly, based on this very fact.

    Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone’s feelings.

  31. 0
    PxDnNinja says:

    These lawsuits are rediculous. In the original sitation, it wasn’t EAs call to get exclusivity. The NFL decided that they wanted only one company making an NFL liscensed title and offered it to both EA and Take2. EA was willing to pay more, so they got the liscense. If people want to be pissed that Madden is the only NFL title out there, be pissed at the NFL.

  32. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    The first amendment has no bearing here, as the players sign contracts with the NFL stating that the NFL reserves the right to use their likeness for whatever the hell it wants to, including commercials, PSA’s, endorsement producst and video games.

    Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone’s feelings.

  33. 0
    aIM hERE says:

    Isn’t there a first amendment issue here for you USians?

    Surely if I want to put <insert favourite sportstar> in my game, as long as I cover it with lawyerly disclaimers to the effect that <said favourite sportstar> does not use, endorse, or like my game, then it would be my first amendment right to say that the waddling chubby low-polygon sprite that represents <whichever litigious, rent-seeking, buffoon wants to sue me> is some sort of protected comment on his or her athleticism or lack thereof.

    People’s images should really not be licensable at all, and in an ideal world, gamemakers could just tell the NFL, the NHL, the Football Association to go to hell.



  34. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    What bearing does that have to do with this?  Every time someone has sued the NFL when it comes to licensing, the NFL has won, because the NFL can do whatever it wants with it’s brand.  Exclusivity for EA is no exception.

    Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone’s feelings.

  35. 0
    Neo_DrKefka says:

     Keep in mind Nintendo Vs Galoob (Codemasters) in which Nintendo lost and the courts said Nintendo cannot prevent companies from making devices to go along with there systems or to use devices to break into games to cheat.

    The Senate went around the Courts with the DMCA and ratified a treaty by the WTO which went around out constitution and court precedent.
  36. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    Except for the fact that the law says they don’t have to do that.  The Supreme Court ruled on this multiple times.

    Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone’s feelings.

  37. 0
    JDKJ says:

    There’s nothing per se illegal about a monopoly. Monopolies exist in all sorts of industries. The utility company that provides your hard-wire electricity has no competitors, controls 100% of the market for hard-wire electricity, and is therefore a monopolist. Cable access television service providers are also usually monopolists. What’s illegal is to use monopoly market share to set prices at a point above that which the market forces of supply and demand would have set them.

    And contrary to what the guy above said, if the market is defined as not just "football games" but "football games based on real-life, current and former NFL players," then EA has a monoply in that market. And, again, there’s nothing illegal in that. What’s illegal is for EA to use that monoply power to artificially inflate their prices. 

  38. 0
    SilverMelee says:

    I hate EA’s foothold on NFL games as much as anyone, but I’m going to have to side with EA and the NFL.

    The fact is, EA is entitled to exclusive use of the NFL license and that’s it. Nobody’s stopping anybody from making an American football game (speaking of, I’m still waiting for Mario American Football, Nintendo…), they just can’t use characters associated with the NFL. It works like any other exclusive license.

    The only reason it seems like a monopoly is because nobody else is really willing to make a football game. Why, because if they can’t get NFL characters, there’s no point? That’s just silly. If you can’t compete with Madden with a traditional football game (sans NFL players), then… do what that one guy above said: make an arcade-style football game just go nuts with it.

    — I do more than just play games. I draw, too:

  39. 0
    ecco6t9 says:

    EA only had a cheap Madden out for one year 2005, every other year it was a full priced game, hell it even launched at $50 but was lowered to $30 when Take 2 Interactive devalued the NFL name by having a game out at Bargin Bin status.

    This act put the NFL name and video games in the same league as shovelware crap that has always exsited.

    Secondly no one is complaing the Take 2 Interactive raised the prices of their $20 sports games to the $40-$50 range.

  40. 0
    JDKJ says:

    You are so out to lunch that it’s not even funny any more. There’s you and then there’s reality. And there’s nothing connecting one to the other.

  41. 0
    Neo_DrKefka says:

     DRM is technically illegal under our constitution however what lawmakers did to go around that was vote on a Treaty which technically our constitution  honors treaties regardless of whether it violates our constitution  so if we as gamers want to be represented we need as gamers groups to represent us in Congress. 

    Sadly the ECA and ECS worry about going after modders and those who download games which most only do so because of the horrible DRM in these products.
  42. 0
    SeanB says:

    Everything in the world is worth the price someone is willing to pay for it.

    If we were talking about bread, water, or oxygen, i might care more. But we’re talking about a freaking sports game here. Every single person who bought it had the right to NOT BUY IT.

  43. 0
    GoodRobotUs says:

    I doubt they will have much luck in that respect to be honest, the fact is that, whilst people may complain a lot about some of EA’s policies, namely DRM and sequels, I don’t see the player base actively participating in something that didn’t ‘hurt’ them in any detectable fashion.

    Certainly, from a business analysis point of view, it may have hurt them financially, but because it’s in the world of ‘what if’, no-one is going to feel that sting.

    Still, I could be utterly wrong, I’ll wait and see :)

  44. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    For the sake of a open business market I would say becuse of what the NFL is they have to open up the licneseing to anyone else at the same price as EA.


    This would create more money for everyone and be best for soscity.

    Until lobbying is a hanging offense I choose anarchy! Stop supporting big media and furthering the criminalization of consumers!!

  45. 0
    Father Time says:

    I really dislike EA for their deal and their exploiting of it (i.e. releasing similar games every year) and I think they deserve heaps of criticism but I’m not sure I can side against them on this.

    Football the sport is not owned by the NFL or NCAA, so they technically don’t have a monopoly (I know that in terms of practicality they may as well). I think NFL should be allowed to sell their licenses to whoever they want and if they want to sign exclusive deals let them. Yes it will kill competition and lead to less innovation and those are horrible things but still, to tell them "oh we can’t let you have full control over your brand name, you must sell it to 2k sports in the name of fairness" strikes me as so very wrong.


    Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it’s over they have the same positions they started in.

  46. 0
    JDKJ says:

    For "collusion" to be actionable under the antitrust and unfair competition laws, I believe it has to be between at least two entities conducting business in the same product market. Put differently, there can’t be collusion across two different product markets. Because EA’s product market is games and the NFL’s product market is sports, I don’t think they can be conspirators.

  47. 0
    matthew_m_g says:

    We have a case where agreement (collusion?) between EA and the NFL generated a monopoly on a product and, by virtue of that monopoly, prices were raised and the quality of the produced product was lower.

    If EA had entered into the agreement with the NFL and the price stayed the same ($30 US at the time, since NFL 2K5 was going for $20 and the price of Madden was brought down to compete with the upstart 2K5 product), then I don’t think we’re having this discussion. 

    Alternatively, if EA had increased the price of the product after their deal with the NFL but the quality of product was consistently better year in and year out, then we’re again not having this conversation.  However, aggragate reviews of the yearly Madden titles would seem to indicate that quality was waning, especially in the years closest to the deal with the NFL being struck.

    Since we have both a declination in quality AND an increase in price with the agreement, I believe there is merit to this case and a definite whiff of collusion (IMO) as well. 

  48. 0
    JDKJ says:

    Actually, it’s not at all that simple. If EA was indeed able by dint of an exclusive license to drive competitors from the market and then increase the price of their product beyond the price which the forces of supply and demand, had they been allowed to prevail, would have set, then they aren’t setting the price at one which consumers would think it’s worth. Rather, they are illegally setting prices. And, if so, all consumers who bought the product at an artificially inflated price are entitled to the difference between the artificial price they paid and the price they should have paid if the natural market forces had instead set the price. So sayeth the laws of fair trade and competition.

    More fundamentally, there are some products which are "inelastic" (i.e., highly resistant to consumption decline due to increase in price). For example, gasoline. If the price of gasoline doubled tomorrow, there would likely be very little decrease in gasoline purchases because, in part, most people who buy gasoline don’t have the option of not continuing to buy gasoline . . . despite exorbitant price increases. 

  49. 0
    SeanB says:

    I am so sick of this case.

    Defense Lawyer: Did anyone make you buy the game?

    Witness: No

    Defense lawyer: Did you object to the price of the game when you purchased it?

    Witness: No

    Defense Lawyer: Was the price of the game hidden from you?

    Witness: No

    Defense Lawyer: Were you decieved in any way in purchasing it?

    Witness: No


    Everything in the world is worth the price someone is willing to pay for it.

  50. 0
    chadachada321 says:

    The NFL can license to anyone. They just chose to license only to EA. It sucks, just like how the game inFAMOUS is only licensed to be on the PS3, but to call it a monopoly would be pretty unfair, as much as I hate EA.

    I don’t even get why people would buy a football game, let alone the same game every single year. $60 for some new skins/stats? Yeah, okay.

    -If an apple a day keeps the doctor away….what happens when a doctor eats an apple?-

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