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EA Sports and Players Reach Settlement in Antitrust Lawsuit, but Claims Continue Against NCAA

Written by Ankin Law Office

The lawsuit was filed by former NCAA basketball player star Ed O’Bannon and NBA legends Bill Russell and Oscar Robertson in 2009 against the NCAA, CLC, and EA Sports. In July 2013, six current college athletes joined the lawsuit. Plaintiff players accuse the NCAA and EA Sports of illegal price fixing by prohibiting players from receiving a portion of the proceeds obtained from the players’ names, likenesses, and images in video games and other products. Accordingly, plaintiffs seek a share of the revenue generated by the NCAA’s deals with television networks and videogame makers.

The lawsuit is still pending against the NCAA, with the plaintiffs requesting class certification, which would allow thousands of former college athletes to join as plaintiffs. Class certification could put pressure on the NCAA to settle the lawsuit in order to avoid potentially large financial damages tied to television revenues, which, according to ESPN, account for more than 90 percent of the money at stake in the dispute.

Earlier this year, an appellate court held that game maker EA Sports could not claim free speech rights to use players’ likenesses and, in July, the NCAA said that it would not renew its contract with the game maker.

The plaintiff’s claims against the NCAA involve federal antitrust laws, which prohibit certain trade practices, such as collusion among competitors for the purpose of price fixing, and other illegal pricing schemes. Antitrust claims are often brought as class action lawsuits because of the large number of plaintiffs and the complexity of the cases.

The Chicago class action attorneys at Ankin Law Office, LLC are knowledgeable and experienced in handling class action suits of all kinds. Not every law firm has the capacity and resources to handle antitrust class actions, which can be complex, costly, and time consuming, but the Chicago antitrust law firm of Ankin Law Office has the knowledge and resources to efficiently and effectively manage large and complex antitrust lawsuits.

If you are a current or former NCAA college athlete, you may want to consult with a knowledgeable antitrust attorney like the Chicago antitrust lawyers at Ankin Law Office, LLC. Contact our office at (312) 600-0000 to schedule a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable Illinois antitrust class action lawyers.