Activision settles with Justice Department for limiting esports players’ salaries

Image: Alex Castro / The Verge

The US Department of Justice is suing Activision Blizzard because of claims the publisher instituted an anti-competitive soft salary cap for players in its Call of Duty and Overwatch esports leagues. The publisher has agreed to settle the suit.

The complaint details what the two leagues called a Competitive Balance Tax. Under the tax, if one of the franchised teams paid its players over a limit imposed by Activision Blizzard, the teams would be fined and have the fee distributed to the other non-offending teams. In theory, the Competitive Balance Tax was to prevent richer, better resourced teams from gobbling up the best talent with high salaries (i.e., what I’d call the “2023 Boston Uprising rule”). But it seems that, in practice, this…

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