EA settles antitrust lawsuit, loses NCAA/AFL license exclusivity
If you happen to have purchased any Madden NFL, NCAA Football or AFL title from January 2005 onwards and live in the US, you may be entitled to a small (very small) windfall from a recently settled class action lawsuit. The case dates back to 2008, when EA was challenged over its exclusive license agreements with the National Football League (NFL), National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), and the Arena Football League (AFL).
The class action suit alleged that EA “violated antitrust and consumer protection laws” and over-charged customers for their football titles.
A settlement has now been proposed by EA, which would see $27 million USD set aside for people who purchased games under the NFL, NCAA or AFL names. If you bought any of those titles on the GameCube, PlayStation 2 or Xbox (after Jan 2005 and live in the US), you may be getting around $6.79 USD back for each one. For titles in the Wii, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 era, you’ll be looking at a slim $1.95 USD per game.
The proposal also states that EA will not sign any licensing agreement with the AFL for five years, and will not renew its NCAA contract (expiring in 2014) for at least five years.
EA’s settlement proposal is subject to final approval by the court before it can take effect.
Source: Business Wire