Class Action, Intellectual Property

Consumers get a bigger bite in EA Sports settlement

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Lawsuit claimed EA stifled competing football video games

Consumers covered by a class action lawsuit against EA Sports  have tripled their winnings without lifting a finger, thanks to a federal judge who has modified the details of a $27 million settlement fund.

The case involves EA Sports football video games. A 2008 class action claimed that EA stifled competing games by partnering with the National Football League, the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the Arena Football League and Collegiate Licensing Co.

They claimed EA monopolized the market for such games, letting it charge more “Madden NFL,” “NCAA Football” and “Arena Football League,” and gouge customers.

Initially, U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken approved a settlement that would have provided $6.79 to consumers who bought EA football games for the XBox, Playstation 2, PC or GameCube between 2005 and 2012 while those who purchased the titles for XBox 360, Playstation 3 or Wii platorms could claim up to $1.95 per game.

But in modifying the settlement, Judge Wilken ordered that the first gorup of consumers receive payments of $20.37 for up to eight games while those who purchased the games for Xbox 360, Playstation 3 or Wii platforms will get $5.85 per title.

Individual payments could be reduced, however, if total claims exceed the $27 million.

Details on how to file a claim are available at

The settlement provides that EA cannot renew its exclusive NCAA and CLC football licenses for at least five years after they expire in 2014. Nor can it acquire exclusive rights to the AFL for five years. It gets to keep its NFL exclusivity.

(originally published at

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