"A U.S. district judge has certified a class-action anti-trust lawsuit against Electronic Arts that alleges the company illegally inflated prices for its football titles after attaining exclusive rights to league licenses.
In a 67-page complaint [PDF], the legal team specifically cites the 2004 pricing battle between Sega and Take-Two's NFL2K5, which retailed for just $19.95, and EA's Madden NFL 2005, which was lowered from a $49.95 asking price to $29.95 in November of that year.
A month after this price decrease, EA signed its exclusive licensing deal with the NFL, following with similar deals for the NCAA and Arena Football leagues in later months. The next year's Madden NFL 2006 faced no competition in the football game market at its usual $49.95 price point."
"We believe EA forced consumers to pay an artificial premium on Madden NFL video games" Berman continued. "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."