It took four years but it's finally over. Well…almost.
Attorneys representing consumers of Electronic Arts football games have reached a proposed settlement, based on claims that EA "violated antitrust and consumer protection laws and overcharged consumers for the games."
The case was initially filed on Jun 5, 2008, as lawyers claimed that EA violated the aforementioned laws by establishing exclusive licensing agreements with the NFL, NCAA, and AFL. As most gamers know, those agreements gave the game giant the exclusive rights to produce football games with the teams, players, stadiums, and other assets of the professional leagues.
The proposed settlement would establish a $27 million fund for consumers who purchased a Madden NFL , NCAA Football , or AFL video game published by EA. If this deal is approved, those who picked up a sixth-generation title (PS2, Xbox, GC) may receive up to $6.79 per game, and those who purchased a seventh-generation title (PS3, 360, Wii) can get up to $1.95 per game. There's an added stipulation that EA will not sign an exclusive agreement with the AFL for five years, and will not renew its current agreement with the NCAA (which expires in 2014) for at least five years.
Said attorney Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman, the law firm that represents the consumer in this case:
"After more than four years of hard-fought litigation, we have reached a settlement that we strongly believe is fair to consumers. We look forward to moving this process forward and asking the court to approve this settlement, which we think is in the best interests of the class."