Judge Modifies EA Football Game Monopoly Settlement

A federal judge has ruled that consumers who bought football related video games from EA between 2005 and 2012 can get three times as much from an earlier settlement. The new judgment is related to a class action lawsuit filed by lead plaintiffs Geoffrey Pecover and Jeffrey Lawrence in 2008. The lawsuit claimed that EA had killed off all competition in the football video game market by licensing every conceivable football franchise including National Football League, the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the Arena Football League and Collegiate Licensing Co. By securing all of these licenses, the lawsuit claimed that EA had created a monopoly, which in turn let them charge more money for their various games.

For serving as lead plaintiffs, Pecover and Lawrence will each get $5,000. Their attorneys, Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro and the Paynter Law Firm, will get $7.29 million in fees, plus $2 million in reimbursement of expenses. Yes, we know that seems inequitable.

As part of the settlement, EA cannot renew its exclusive NCAA and CLC football licenses for at least five years after they expire in 2014. EA is also barred from grabbing exclusive rights to the AFL for five years. EA's licensing agreement with the NFL was not affected.

You can read the full order here (PDF).

Source: Courthouse News


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  1. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    And NFL games will continue to remain stagnant.


    Seriously, EA has absolutely no reason to ever change the games. They could release an NFL game this year, and then never release on again.

  2. 0
    Infophile says:

    I don't know about that. The lawsuit was on EA having a monopoly due to having all the licenses, so the settlement is that they can only have one license (which was negotiated to be their most profitable). There's nothing illegal about having one exclusive license, and they probably wouldn't be able to get EA to agree to a settlement if it were any other franchise. All in all, it seems fair to me.

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