A U.S. district court judge has certified a class action anti-trust lawsuit against Electronic Arts to proceed, which alleges the publisher used the exclusive NFL license it obtained in 2005 to illegally raise the price of games in the Madden NFL series.
The complaint argues that ESPN NFL 2K5, the last version of the game to have the NFL license before EA acquired it exclusively in 2005, was released at a budget price of $19.95. This in turn caused EA to counter price Madden NFL 2005 at $29.95 a few months after its release that year, but once they had the exclusive license the price of each game in the series rose once again to the $49.95-$59.95 range.
"We believe EA forced consumers to pay an artificial premium on Madden NFL videogames," said Steve Berman, the lawyer working the class action suit. "We intend to prove that EA could inflate prices on their sports titles because these exclusive licenses restrained trade and competition for interactive sports software."http://feedads.g.doubleclick.net/~a/npBXnDQlYJLyQeTgZlJ_5eQ6BVE/0/di