Are you a fan of EA’s epic Madden series? You — and gamers like you — could have been bilked out of almost a billion dollars, according to a Michigan professor of economics.
Jeffrey MacKie-Mason’s estimate came in a lengthy declaration filed in support of the plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit against publisher EA. The suit alleges that the world’s second-largest publisher used its exclusive deal with the NFL to eradicate competing football video games — notably Take Two’s NFL 2K series — and then hiked Madden prices to their current $60.
Industry analysts have been critical of the scale of MacKie-Mason’s estimate, and the professor himself admitted in the filing that it was a “simplistic exercise” — but also notes that under Californian anti-trust law, any damages assessed would be trebled. In other words, a loss in this case could prove expensive for EA.
How likely is that? Your guess is as good as ours, but there’s more to this fight than video games. In 2001, a comparable situation arose when the NFL signed a ten-year exclusive deal with Reebok to produce hats carrying team branding. As a result, a competing headwear manufacturer shut out by the deal sued both the NFL and Reebok under anti-trust laws. The NFL won, but the fight’s not over: the case could well be on its way to the Supreme Court this year.
By Mike Smith | yahoo
You can leave a comment below.