Electronic Arts has agreed to give up the exclusive rights to create games based on the NCCA and AFL, and to pay $27 million to customers as part of a class action lawsuit settlement. The lawsuit alleged that EA had created a football game monopoly and used its position to edge out competing companies by adjusting prices downward, and locking down exclusive licenses. When that competition disappeared EA then raised the price of its games back to normal levels.
Under the terms of the settlement, EA will let its current licensing agreement with the NCAA lapse in 2014 and won't sign any exclusive deals with either the NCAA or the AFL for at least five years. The publisher has also agreed to hand over some cash to consumers who bought an EA football title for the GameCube, PS2 or Xbox. They would get $6.79 a game, and those who bought a current-generation football game from the publisher could get up to $1.95 a game.
While all parties have agreed to the settlement, the agreement has not been officially finalized. When that happens we'll let you know.