EA Sports hit with Class action lawsuit

Are you a fan of EA Sports and live in the California? Well if so many of you may have received an email regarding a class action lawsuit brought from Geoffry Pecover and Andrew Owens against EA Sports in the . The class action lawsuit is going against EA for violations of California’s antitrust and consumer protection laws. While this was first brought to the courts back in June of 2008 its now just making news.

More after the break…

While we hold no law degree’s, we have here at TheDroidGuy gone over all the legal briefs which are made public records. The complaint in question has to do with the fact that no other company after 2005(NFL 2k5 was last non EA Sports Football game) have been able to create any NFL/NCAA/Arena football game.

At this point EA Sports was selling the hit game Madden for $29.95 in which the very next year and years after upped the price to $49.99 due to no other games of that type being made which is a significant mark up. This has to do with the exclusive contract that EA Sports went into with both the NFL and Sega which makes the 2k franchises.

In December of 2004 Electronic Arts signed an exclusive deal with the NFLPA, NCAA, and the AFL which blocked any future release of Sega’s hit 2k(Take Two Entertainment) NFL games. Soon after EA bought out 2k sports which now means that the only company creating officially licensed sports games is EA and thus the monopoly in which this class action lawsuit is going after.

The laws in which the class action lawsuit are claiming besides the Anticompetive conduct, are violations to laws such as the Sherman Act, the Cartwright Act, and a violation of the Unfair Competition Act. Also included is the violation of the State Antitrust and Restraint of Trade Laws for 20 different states among others.

The interesting part is unlike other class action lawsuits there really is no denying what EA did and they wont be able to find a way  to state what they did isn’t what they are being sued for.

While I do agree that EA did do this and that this whole lawsuit is about the price increase from $29.99 all the way up to even $59.99 in some situations based on the hardware, at the time and what the engineers put into the game and how it plays this price jump was going to happen anyways. I believe the EA will take this stand  that because there was no competition, that allowed it to increase its price. Also, that the hardware and the resources needed is what lifted the price it just happened to be at the same time. Any other justification EA tries to use wouldn’t hold merit as it is cut and dry that with no more NFL 2k games on market they could chose a price and we as  consumers would have to pay. While this lawsuit is being played out in California, it makes it clear that consumers no matter the state/country of origin will benefit from it and not just  local CA people.

Source: EA Sports Litigation