New York City Is Suing Activision Blizzard
Activision Blizzard is facing a new lawsuit that has been filed by the New York City (NYC) Employees’ Retirement System. The lawsuit claims that Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick was "unfit to negotiate a sale of the company" to Microsoft due to his alleged misconduct and abuse in the workplace.
The new lawsuit accuses Bobby Kotick of insider trading
The claims that “Kotick will be able to escape liability and accountability entirely” for the allegations made against Activision Blizzard and will continue to serve as an executive after the Microsoft-Activision Blizzard acquisition takes place. In January 2022, Microsoft announced the acquisition of Activision Blizzard for $68.7 Billion USD.
Microsoft had at the time that Bobby Kotick will continue to serve as CEO of Activision Blizzard, and he will remain in his position until the deal between Microsoft and Activision Blizzard closes, after which Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Gaming will take charge.
Attorney Richard Hoeg of Hoeg Law that the lawsuit is a “books and records request (not a more substantive lawsuit), it's not filed by the city but by funds that have an investment interest in Activision, and, to be frank, the 98% shareholder approval really harms the ‘value is too low/improperly negotiated argument.”
The lawsuit also references a March 2022 purchase of Activision shares worth $108 million USD by three individuals affiliated with Bobby Kotick. It states that the “highly suspicious trades stand to deliver the three Kotick affiliates a windfall of more than $100 million.” The lawsuit claims that Kotick’s continued misconduct even after the merger highlights that he was unfit to negotiate the deal between Microsoft and Activision Blizzard.
Activision Blizzard is already facing a lawsuit filed by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), following a two-year investigation. The state of California is accusing Activision Blizzard of discriminating against its female employees at virtually all levels of employment, including on compensation, promotion, assignments, and termination.