“an unlawful and anti-competitive series of exclusive agreements with the National Football League, the NFL Players Union, Arena Football League and the National Collegiate Athletic Association."
The class action suit is representing every US resident who purchased a new copy of any Madden NFL, NCAA Football or Arena Football title published by Electronic Arts in the past 7 and a half years.
According to the lawsuit papers, “Electronic Arts has driven its competition out of the market for interactive football software, including most significantly Take Two Interactive Software, Inc., the maker of the interactive football software title NFL 2K5 and has prevented additional competitors from entering the market."
Back in 2004, 2K Sports released its last NFL title, NFL 2K5, which was considered superior to Madden NFL 05, and which also sold for a mere $19.99 USD, as opposed to Madden's $49.99 price tag.
If the plaintiffs win, “The Settlement provides that Electronic Arts will not enter into an exclusive trademark license with the AFL for five years from the date of approval of the Settlement; and that Electronic Arts will not renew its current collegiate football trademark license with the CLC on an exclusive basis for five years after it expires in 2014; and that Electronic Arts will not seek any new exclusive trademark license for the purpose of making football videogames with the CLC, the NCAA, or any NCAA member institution covered by the current exclusive license for five years after the expiration of the current CLC agreement.”
The class action lawsuit wasin July, so this suit will probably not reach a verdict as EA has prepared its $27M settlement.