San Francisco, CA: A federal judge certified a national class action lawsuit against Electronic Arts, Inc based on allegations that video game consumers overpaid for popular sports titles including Madden NFL.
The lawsuit claims that Delaware-company Electronic Arts violated antitrust and consumer protection laws by holding exclusive license agreements with NFL, NCAA, and Arena Football League. Through these agreements, Electronic Arts developed and published highly coveted sports titles that generated billions of dollars in sales while allegedly restricting competition, the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit claims that the agreements may have inflated the price of certain Electronic Arts-produced sports titles including Madden NFL, by up to 70 percent. Madden NFL is Electronic Arts biggest sports franchise in the United States, and occupies four of the top 10 best selling games in the nation, industry reports claim.
The 67-page court order provided further explanation behind the judge's decision, and granted the plaintiffs' request to represent respective class members seeking punitive damages against Electronic Arts. The judge excluded consumers who purchased similar games sold for mobile devices from the class action.