Electronic Arts has accepted a settlement agreement relating to a 2008 lawsuit that saw the publisher sued for allegedly violating antitrust laws with its exclusive deals for NFL, NCAA, and AFL content. As long as the court approves the proposed settlement in a September 27, 2012 hearing, EA will finally be able to put this matter to rest.
Under the terms of the agreement, the publisher will get to hang onto its NFL license exclusivity as long as it agrees to not renew its ongoing deal with the NCAA for five years and not pursue similar exclusivity with the Arena Football League (AFL) for five years. EA's current contract with the NCAA expires in 2014.
The publisher will also establish a $27 million fund to benefit those who purchased any EA Sports football games since January 2005. GameCube/PlayStation 2/Xbox releases are worth up to $6.79 apiece and PlayStation 3/Xbox 360/Wii releases are worth up to $1.95 apiece under the terms of the proposed settlement.
The details of how the settlement fund will be disbursed to affected consumers won't be revealed until the courts can actually approve the settlement. You can find additional details on the website of Hagens Berman, which is the law firm representing consumers in this case.