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EA football class action suit will pay out triple as part of settlement update

Gamers who bought an EA football game between 2005 and 2012, could be due triple the amount of settlement money per game thanks to recent modifications to a $27 million settlement in a class action suit against Electronic Arts.

Under the new terms, a claimant will now receive $20.37 per last-gen game on PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube and Windows PC, up from $6.79. Current-gen games on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii will pay out $5.85 per game, up from $1.95.

Pecover v. Electronic Arts class-action monopoly lawsuit participants who bought a current-gen game covered under the settlement, and for whom EA has a physical mailing address, will automatically receive a check at the tripled rate.

Valid claims will be paid out the amounts listed above once the claims administrator receives all of the claims and confirms that the net settlement amount is sufficient. However, if the total claims exceed $27 million, then claim amounts will be reduced on a pro rata basis.

Unfortunately, leftover money originally intended as a Child's Play donation will now go to the federal government. It is not immediately clear why this modification was made.

Also outlined in the supplemental notice, the deadline to file a claim or objection has been pushed back from the original March 15 cut off date, so parties who wish to do so now have until May 15.

According to the notice, the settlement modifications are coming because the number of claimants is lower than was expected. Plaintiffs want to maximize the amount of money from the $27 million fund that will go to participants in the class action.

The notification states:

The Court modified the distribution plan to ensure that Settlement Class Members received as much money as possible from the settlement fund. The amount of money being returned to Settlement Class Members was less than expected because fewer than anticipated Settlement Class Members submitted claims prior to the original close of the claims period (i.e., prior to March 5, 2013), and Electronic Arts had fewer names and physical addresses for nonclaiming Settlement Class Members than the parties originally believed. The Court adjusted the distribution plan to provide for additional money to be returned to Settlement Class Members.

The Pecover v. Electronic Arts class-action monopoly lawsuit for EA's exclusive rights to make Madden, NCAA Football and Arena Football games, was brought to a head after four years of litigation in the federal courts, when EA agreed to pay $27 million into a settlement fund last July. The settlement was ruled "fair" in October.

The modifications do not affect the settlement agreement demands that EA not renew its exclusivity agreements with the Collegiate Licensing Co. The exclusivity agreements expire in 2014, and EA is barred from negotiating exclusive agreements with the CLC and National Collegiate Athletic Association for five years following.

The class-action lawsuit against EA Sports claimed the company's exclusive licensing agreements with National Football League, NCAA, the CLC and the Arena Football League monopolized the market for football video games, killing any competing titles.

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