SEATTLE, Wash., Oct. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The following statement is being issued by Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP pursuant to an order of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California:
If you bought a new copy of an Electronic Arts' Madden NFL, NCAA Football, or Arena Football videogame for Xbox, Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, GameCube, PC, or Wii, with a release date of January 1, 2005 to June 21, 2012, you may be a class member and may be entitled to benefits from a proposed settlement.
A proposed settlement has been reached in a class action alleging that Electronic Arts overcharged consumers for certain football videogames. Electronic Arts denies any liability and all allegations of misconduct, including that it overcharged consumers. The sole purpose of this notice is to inform you of the proposed settlement so that you may decide what to do.
At this time, the settlement has only been preliminarily approved by the Court, pending the results of the Settlement Fairness Hearing. On February 7, 2013 at 2:00pm, a hearing will be held in Courtroom 2 of the Oakland Courthouse of the United States Federal District Court for the Northern District of California, located at 1301 Clay St., Oakland, CA 94612, to determine whether the Settlement should be approved by the Court as fair, reasonable, and adequate, whether judgment should be entered thereon, and whether this lawsuit should be dismissed with prejudice against Electronic Arts. No money or other benefits will be available until final approval has been granted by the Court.
The time and date of the Settlement Fairness Hearing may be changed without further notice to the Settlement Class. Any changes to the date and time of the Settlement Fairness Hearing will be posted at www.easportslitigation.com.
What is the lawsuit about?
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. Electronic Arts denies the allegations in the lawsuit, denies that it has engaged in any wrongdoing, denies that there is a relevant market limited to "interactive football videogames," and denies that it ever 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.
Who's included as a Settlement Class Member?
You are a member of the Settlement Class if:
You are in the United States and bought a new copy of an Electronic Arts' Madden NFL, NCAA Football, or Arena Football videogame for Xbox, Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, GameCube, PC, or Wii, with a release date of January 1, 2005 to June 21, 2012.
You are excluded from the Settlement Class if (1) you purchased the game(s) directly from Electronic Arts; (2) you purchased only used copies of the games; or (3) you are an employee, officer, director, or legal representative or Electronic Arts or a wholly or a partly owned subsidiary or affiliated company.
You are also excluded from the Settlement Class if you previously submitted a timely request for exclusion on or prior to June 25, 2011.
What are the terms of the settlement?
The Settlement provides that Electronic Arts will pay $27 million into a fund that will include money for Settlement Class Members to be provided for timely and valid claims, after deducting payment of the costs of administering the Settlement, including the costs of this notice, attorneys' fees, costs of the litigation and any payments allowed by the Court to the named plaintiffs.
Additionally, 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.
The Settlement will release claims that consumers may have against Electronic Arts relating to the exclusive agreements, and any resulting overcharge for football videogames, for the period of time from January 1, 2005 to June 21, 2012, unless an individual excludes himself or herself from the Settlement. Specifically, the Settlement will release and forever discharge the claims that were pled or could have been pled in the Pecover v. Electronic Arts case.
What are my options as a Settlement Class Member?
Settlement Class Members have the following rights and options with respect to this settlement:
1) Do Nothing - If you do nothing, you will give up your right to sue Electronic Arts over the claims in this matter, and you will give up your right to get money from the Settlement if it is approved by the Court.
2) Submit a Claim Form - If you are an eligible Settlement Class Member, and you submit a valid claim by March 5, 2013, your share of the net proceeds of the settlement will be based upon the number of eligible new videogame titles you purchased during the Class Period, as well as the number of Settlement Class Members who submit valid claims. Claims may be submitted by mail, or online at www.easportslitigation.com.
3) Object to the Settlement - If you are a Settlement Class Member, you can tell the Court that you don't agree with the Settlement or some part of it. The Court will consider your views. If you do not file an objection to the Settlement, you waive your right to object to and/or appeal the Settlement. Objections must be filed by December 10, 2012.
4) Ask to be Excluded from the Settlement - If you ask to be excluded from the settlement ("opt-out"), you will no longer be considered a Settlement Class Member and will receive no benefit from the settlement. This is the only option that allows you to keep your right to sue Electronic Arts over the claims in this matter. Exclusions must be filed by December 10, 2012.
Please visit the website for more details regarding your options.
Where can more information be found?
This Notice is only a summary of the lawsuit and the proposed Settlement. For more information, or to file your claim online, please visit the case website, www.easportslitigation.com or by calling, toll-free: 888-213-8331.
Para ver este aviso en español, visita www.easportslitigation.com o llamada gratuitamente gratis, 888-213-8331.
SOURCE Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP