The Justice Department accepted a settlement Monday from Activision Blizzard Inc.
over an antitrust lawsuit filed earlier in the day accusing the video-game maker of suppressing player play in company-owned esports leagues for the games “Overwatch” and “Call of Duty.” “Professional esports players — like all workers — deserve the benefits of competition for their services. Activision’s conduct prevented that from happening,” said Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter in a statement.
The lawsuit alleged that independently owned esports teams, which competed in leagues owned by Activision, worked together with the company to suppress player compensation. Activision maintained that its actions were legal. “We have always believed, and still believe, that the Competitive Balance Tax was lawful, and it did not have an adverse impact on player salaries,” it said in a statement. Under the settlement, Activision agreed not to impose salary caps or limits for esports players or teams. The settlement still must be approved by a federal judge.