Buyers of NFL Apparel Get Up to $70 in Antitrust Settlement

SAN JOSE, Calif. (CN) – A federal judge granted final approval from the bench to a $4.75 million settlement of an antitrust class action that centered on the National Football League’s exclusive merchandise licensing deal with Reebok.

U.S. District Court Judge Edward Davila signed off on the settlement, which will disburse about $70 to customers who bought NFL apparel during the class period if they have proof of purchase, and about half the price to those who didn’t keep their receipt.

“This court finds this settlement fair, adequate and reasonable and it will approve it,” Davila said from the bench during Thursday’s hearing.

Roy Katriel, attorney for the class, said the settlement actually delivers to the members of the class – unlike some others.

“Class actions get a bad rap, because after the outcome you get a postcard and a check for 12 cents,” he said. “This is not that type of settlement.”

The class resolves an issue that dates back to October 2012, when Patrick Dang sued the NFL, Reebok International, 26 teams and three other companies for violating antitrust laws in California with an exclusive licensing agreement.

Dang said he and other consumers were being overcharged for their apparel purchases due to the licensing agreement that restricted competition and pushed up prices.

Davila’s signature on the settlement officially closes the case.