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Appeal delays payouts from EA Sports football antitrust lawsuit settlement

Payouts from the $27 million settlement fund in Electronic Arts' class-action football monopoly lawsuit are being held up while one member of the class appeals the lawyers' fees from the case, reports Kotaku.

The petitioners in Pecover v. Electronic Arts filed suit in June 2008, charging that EA's exclusive licensing agreements for its Madden NFL, NCAA Football and Arena Football franchises violated antitrust laws. After more than four years of litigation, EA settled the suit out of court last July, agreeing to pay $27 million to the class action while continuing to deny any wrongdoing. Due to a lack of claims submitted by participants in the suit, the terms of the settlement agreement were modified this past April to triple the payouts per game while keeping the total fund at the same amount, and the agreement was finalized May 30.

In writing the final agreement, the court dismissed the objections of nine individuals to the terms of the settlement. One of those people, Aaron Miller, objected to the legal fees being paid out from the settlement fund, which amount to $7.29 million. That's approximately 27 percent of the total fund, and since the court's guidelines stipulated that the fees should comprise no more than 30 percent of the fund, the objection was dismissed.

However, Miller is appealing the objection to the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and until the appeal is resolved, no class-action participants can receive payouts from the settlement.

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