Activision Blizzard adds yet another lawsuit to the pile of its internal issues. A shareholder accuses the takeover by Microsoft of being “unfair”.
It’s been a few weeks since Microsoft announced its intention to buy the prestigious Activision Blizzard studio for the colossal sum of 68 billion dollars. While this is the largest takeover in video game history, this approach does not seem to please everyone, and we are not even talking about Sony, Microsoft’s main competitor.
Even in the ranks of Activision, the case does not win unanimity, and this is proven with a new lawsuit brought against the studio by one of its own shareholders. Indeed, he explains in the complaint that the preliminary proxy statement that Activision Blizzard filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission would be “materially deficient”. So nothing to do with Microsoft, but rather with the internal organization of Activision Blizzard.
He also criticizes the board of directors for having failed to create an independent committee of disinterested directors to lead the sale process “. Finally, he points to the huge commissions received by some employees, including Bobby Kotick, which amount to several million dollars. Following these allegations, the reaction of the studio was not long in coming.
In response, an Activision spokesperson said: we do not agree with the allegations made in this complaint and look forward to presenting our case to the court. For the moment, the complaint asks for a trial by jury since the company would violate two principles of the law called Exchange Act.
Note that this is not the only lawsuit facing the firm. Indeed, long before its takeover by Microsoft, Activision shareholders had filed suit against the company for allegedly failing to disclose internal complaints about workplace toxicity. Several complaints are also addressed individually to certain employees, including the very controversial Bobby Kotick.
Microsoft therefore still has work to do to restore the image of the studio, which loses its prestige with each new trial. The firm has also planned to do a big spring cleaning, once the acquisition is approved by the competent authorities.