EA Price-Fixing Case Gets Class Action Status

A U.S. District judge has certified a class-action antitrust case involving the alleged price fixing of Electronic Arts’ football titles.

According to the decision, any consumers who purchased Madden, Arena Football or NCAA football games in 2005 can sign on as plaintiffs on the case and be represented by a single law firm.

According to a story on Gamasutra:

The suit itself alleges that EA used its monopoly control over various football league licenses during that period to increase the asking price of its football games, amounting to an illegal price-gouging scheme.

"We believe EA forced consumers to pay an artificial premium on Madden NFL video games," said Hagens Berman partner Steve Berman in a statement. "We intend to prove that EA could inflate prices on their sports titles because these exclusive licenses restrained trade and competition for interactive sports software."

In a 67-page complaint [PDF], the legal team specifically cites the 2004 pricing battle between Sega and Take-Two’s NFL2K5, which retailed for just $19.95, and EA’s Madden NFL 2005, which was lowered from a $49.95 asking price to $29.95 in November of that year.

The suit has asked for a trial by jury.

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One comment

  1. 0
    ecco6t9 says:

    Shouldn’t Take 2 be sued for "price fixing" their MLB games? I remember them going from $19.99 back up $39.99 after they secured an exclusive 3rd party agreement.

    The NFL and EA agreed to the exclusive deal since the NFL more or less felt that Take 2’s actions of pricing NFL 2K5 at $19.99 devalued the league.

    Secondly the NCAA rights, 2K Games had previously tried that with several attempts at the NCAA games but failed to compete and bowed out of the market before EA secured an exclusive deal with the NCAA.

    Thirdly with the AFL, when a major entertainment company apporaches you with an exclusive some of money to better help promote a secondary league one would hope that they would take said offer for the potental betterment of the league. 2K Games could of easily apporached the AFL with comparable deal but failed to act before and after EA and the AFL secured an exclusive deal.

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