Depends on how this class action lawsuit comes out.....
The lawsuit claims that Electronic Arts violated federal and California antitrust laws, as well as California consumer protection laws, by signing exclusive licensing agreements with the Arena Football League (“AFL”), the Collegiate Licensing Company (“CLC”)
(on behalf of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (“NCAA”)), the National Football League (“NFL”), the National Football League Players Association (“NFLPA”) and ESPN. The lawsuit claims that these agreements gave Electronic Arts a monopoly over an
alleged market for league-branded, simulation football videogames, and allowed it to charge higher prices than it would have in a competitive environment. The suit seeks to recover monetary damages and restitution, as well as injunctive relief.
Electronic Arts denies Plaintiffs’ allegations. Electronic Arts asserts that (i) there is no such thing as a discreet “market” for league-branded, simulation football videogames; (ii) the NFL and its Players’ Association, the NCAA, and other licensors asked
Electronic Arts and other game publishers to bid for the rights to make videogames using their trademarks and other intellectual property rights; (iii) EA did so and was awarded certain rights to make videogames using these licensors’ trademarks and other
intellectual property rights; (iv) it is not illegal to bid on trademark licenses, exclusive or otherwise, that intellectual property owners choose to offer, (v) exclusive trademark licenses are commonplace and widely accepted in commerce and under the law
as one legitimate way for an intellectual property rights holder to maximize the value of its property, (vi) the conduct challenged by Plaintiffs has not injured consumers, and (vii) Electronic Arts has never charged supra-competitive prices for its videogames.
The Court has not decided whether Electronic Arts did anything wrong, and this Notice is not an expression of any opinion by the Court about the merits of any of the claims or defenses asserted by any party to this litigation.