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EA Sports sued for “anticompetitive” exclusivity deals

Tuesday, 16th October 2012 22:34 GMT By Brenna Hillier

A class action lawsuit will take on EA Sports on behalf of every US resident who purchased a new copy of Madden NFL, NCAA Football or Arena Football over the course of seven and a half years.

According to a preliminary approval obtained by DarkZero, the suit accuses EA Sports of “an unlawful and anticompetitive series of exclusive agreements with the National Football League, the NFL Players Union, Arena Football League and the National Collegiate Athletic Association”.

“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,” the suit alleges.

The class action lawsuit argues that this business practise violates the rights of everyone in the US who purchased a new copy of EA’s football titles on any format between January 2005 and June 2012.

If successful, the suit hopes to block EA Sports from making further exclusive licensing deals.

“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.”

EA has denied any liability and all allegations of misconduct.

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6 Comments

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  1. Yoshi

    Couldn’t this kinda be said for Football as well? I mean PES is only just finally getting some legit names etc.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. viralshag

    They don’t need the licences to make a better football or American football game. How about you make something that actually competes with the EA games then worry about the names.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Klaxusprime

    This story has no roots, Brenna… the courts have already talked on this case 7 days ago!

    http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/10/10/51143.htm

    #3 2 years ago
  4. DSB

    Lulz, I can’t believe they forced a settlement. People should sue EA more often.

    @2 You know how naive that is though. Without the names or the leagues, people can’t relate to the game. It’s still better to be a recognized mediocre sports game than an obscure mediocre sports game.

    Blaming EA for that is just as naive though. The leagues shouldn’t be entering those deals to begin with.

    I don’t see how they have an interest in keeping the selection of games down. If anything, the leadership of most major sports leagues, from the NFL to FIFA are just incompetent, and likely corrupt to boot, so I think people should be going there first.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Nath_gamer

    Well said DSB, It is a breach of contract thing but it’s a stupid ass contract haha.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. jonahfalcon

    This sounds familiar:

    http://www.strategyinformer.com/news/19082/electronic-arts-settles-in-madden-and-ncaa-monopoly-suit

    That was in July.

    #6 2 years ago