Pecover v. Electronic Arts Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Please find below answers to frequently asked questions
  1. What if I moved and need to change my address?
  2. What is this lawsuit about?
  3. What are the terms of the Settlement?
  4. How can I get more information?
  5. How much will my payment be?
  6. How do I ask the Court to exclude me from the Settlement Class?
  7. How do I object to the Settlement?
  8. What Is the Settlement Fairness Hearing and When Is It?
  1. What if I moved and need to change my address?

    Answer: You must fully complete, execute and mail or email a change of address notice. This should include:

    1. The name of the lawsuit;
    2. The Settlement Class Member’s full name;
    3. The Settlement Class Member’s incorrect address;
    4. The Settlement Class Member’s new address

    The email address is
    info@easportslitigation.com

    The mailing address is:
    Electronic Arts Settlement
    c/o Gilardi & Co. LLC
    P.O. Box 808054
    Petaluma CA 94975-8054

    It is important that the Settlement Administrator have an accurate address for you so that your benefit as a Settlement Class Member is mailed to your current address.

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  2. What is this lawsuit about?

    Answer: 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”), and the National Football League Players Association (“NFLPA”). The lawsuit claims that these agreements gave Electronic Arts a monopoly over an alleged market for league-branded, simulation football videogames, and allowed it to charge higher prices than it would have in a competitive environment. The suit seeks to recover monetary damages and restitution, as well as injunctive relief.

    Electronic Arts denies Plaintiffs’ allegations. Electronic Arts asserts that (i) there is no such thing as a discreet “market” for league-branded, simulation football videogames; (ii) the NFL and its Players’ Association, the NCAA, and other licensors asked Electronic Arts and other game publishers to bid for the rights to make videogames using their trademarks and other intellectual property rights; (iii) EA did so and was awarded certain rights to make videogames using these licensors' trademarks and other intellectual property rights; (iv) it is not illegal to bid on trademark licenses, exclusive or otherwise, that intellectual property owners choose to offer, (v) exclusive trademark licenses are commonplace and widely accepted in commerce and under the law as one legitimate way for an intellectual property rights holder to maximize the value of its property, (vi) the conduct challenged by Plaintiffs has not injured consumers, and (vii) Electronic Arts has never 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.

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  3. What are the terms of the Settlement?

    Answer: 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 as detailed below, after deducting payment for 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, known as the “class representatives.” This money is referred to here as the “Common Fund.”

    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 Collegiate Licensing Company (“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. You can read more about the Settlement here.

    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. You can read more about the scope of the release and the released claims here.

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  4. How can I get more information?

    Answer: In addition to the Class Notice, there are several other documents available on this website for you to review and learn about the case. You may also email the Settlement Administrator at info@easportslitigation.com.

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  5. How much will my payment be?

    Answer: If approved by the Court, payments will be made to Settlement Class members who submit timely and valid claims out of the net proceeds of the Settlement (the amount available 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) based on the type and number of videogames purchased by a Settlement Class Member.

    If you are an eligible Settlement Class Member, your share of the net proceeds of the Settlement will be based upon the number of videogame titles you purchased new, as well as the number of Settlement Class Members who submit valid claims.
    Valid claims for the purchase of Madden NFL, NCAA Football, or Arena Football videogames for the Xbox, PlayStation 2, PC, or GameCube platforms (“Sixth Generation Purchasers”) will be valued at $6.79 per new game purchased, up to a total of eight units ($54.32). Valid claims for the purchase of Madden NFL, NCAA Football, or Arena Football videogames for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, or Wii platforms (“Seventh Generation Purchasers”) will be valued at $1.95 per new game purchased, up to a total of eight units ($15.60).

    The different amounts reflect the differences in Plaintiffs' estimated overcharge for the various platforms, as determined by the economics experts hired by Plaintiffs to evaluate their claims.

    If after receiving all valid claims, the claims administrator determines that the net settlement amount is sufficient to pay out all the valid claims submitted, then each valid claim will be paid out at the values listed above. If, however, the claims administrator determines that the net settlement amount is not enough to pay out all the valid claims submitted, then the claim amounts will be reduced on a pro rata basis.

    If, after paying out valid claims made by Settlement Class Members, monies remain available, the parties will make their best efforts to identify Settlement Class Members who (i) have purchased sixth generation games, (ii) provided Electronic Arts with a physical mailing address, and (iii) did not submitted a Claim, and send payment to such individuals in an amount that equals the average claim paid to a sixth generation purchaser who submitted a claim, without the necessity of a Claims Form.

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  6. How do I ask the Court to exclude me from the Settlement Class?

    Answer: To ask to be excluded, you must send a letter, postmarked by December 10, 2012, to the Class Counsel appointed by the Court:

    Shana E. Scarlett
    Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP
    715 Hearst Ave., Suite 202
    Berkeley, CA 94710.

    In your letter, be sure to reference the name of this lawsuit, Pecover v. Electronic Arts, and remember to sign the letter.

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  7. How do I object to the Settlement?

    Answer: 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. You can give reasons why you think the Court should not approve 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.

    To object, you must send a letter saying that you object to the Settlement in Pecover v. Electronic Arts. Be sure to include your name, address, telephone number, your signature, and the reasons you object to the Settlement. Mail the objection to these two different places postmarked no later than December 10, 2012:

    Court
    United States District Court, Northern District of California
    1301 Clay St.
    Oakland, CA 94612

    Class Counsel
    Shana E. Scarlett
    Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP
    715 Hearst Ave., Suite 202
    Berkeley, CA 94710

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  8. What Is the Settlement Fairness Hearing and When Is It?

    Answer: On February 7, 2013 at 2:00 pm, 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.

    The Court will also consider at the Settlement Fairness Hearing the request of Class Counsel for an award of attorneys’ fees, not to exceed 30% of the Common Fund or $9 million; the request of Class Counsel for reimbursement of expenses incurred in pursuing this lawsuit, not to exceed $2,000,000; and a request for incentive awards to each class representative not to exceed $5,000 per individual. These amounts, if awarded, will be deducted from the Common Fund.

    Your attendance at the Settlement Fairness Hearing is not required. However, you may be heard orally at the Settlement Hearing in opposition to the proposed Settlement or Class Counsel’s application for attorneys’ fees and expenses, but only if you have timely filed written objections in the manner described above, including a statement that you intend to appear and be heard at the Settlement Fairness Hearing. You may also enter an appearance through an attorney, at your own expense. If you do not do so, you will be represented in the case by Class Counsel.

    The time and date of the Fairness Hearing may be continued without further notice to the Settlement Class.

    Pending final determination of whether the Settlement should be approved, you and your representatives are barred from filing any lawsuit asserting any claims against Electronic Arts that relate to the settled claims as defined above.

    Important Dates:

    • December 10, 2012: Last day for Settlement Class Members to file notice with District Court Clerk to be heard at Fairness Hearing, including notice of objection to any Settlement.
    • December 10, 2012: Last day for Settlement Class Members to serve above-listed Class Counsel with notice to be heard at Fairness Hearing, including notice of objection to any Settlement.
    • February 7, 2013: Fairness Hearing, includes hearing to finally approve the Settlement. (Date subject to change per District Court Order.)

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