Activision Blizzard Shareholder Files Lawsuit, Alleges SEC Violations In Microsoft Deal

Video game publisher Activision Blizzard and its board of directors are facing a shareholder lawsuit that claims they are merely enrching themselves by selling the company to Microsoft.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday in California by shareholder Kyle Watson. alleging Securities Exchange Act violations in its proposed sale plan. Microsoft said in January that it will buy Activision Blizzard for $95 per share, or a total cost of $68.7 billion.

Watson calls the sale “unfair for a number of reasons,” but notes that the board is simply seeking to “procure for themselves and senior management […] significant and immediate benefits.”

The lawsuit claims the deal “is not in the best interest” of Activision Blizzard, Watson, nor company stockholders, and “will produce lucrative benefits for the [Activision Blizzard’s] officers and directors.” It called the SEC filing on Feb. 18 setting terms of the deal “materially misleading and incomplete.”

Activision Blizzard is already being looked at by the SEC, and the deal has added federal scrutiny. Still, Microsoft intends to close this deal by the end of June 2023. Activision Blizzard is also being sued in a separate action by shareholders, alleging negligence in handling sexual harassment and discrimination reports.

Activision Blizzard issued a statement.“We disagree with the allegations made in this complaint and look forward to presenting our arguments to the Court.”

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