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Activision Blizzard sued by shareholders over Microsoft's buyout

UPDATE: Four more lawsuits lodged.

UPDATE 9/3/22: Four more Activision Blizzard shareholders have filed lawsuits against the company over its planned acquisition by Microsoft, bringing the total now to six.

Polygon reported that these legal notices take a similar stance as the original two filings - that Activision Blizzard's deal violates the Securities and Exchange Act (more on all that below).

In related news, three potential Activision Blizzard stockholders were today revealed as under investigation by US authorities for possible insider trading related to the deal itself.


ORIGINAL STORY 25/2/22: Lawsuits have been filed against Activision Blizzard, this time by two of its shareholders.

The first lawsuit was filed by Kyle Watson in California. In this lawsuit, Watson claims the planned acquisition of Activision by Microsoft is "unfair for a number of reasons". According to Watson's lawyers, one of these reasons is that the board is hoping to "procure for themselves and senior management [...] significant and immediate benefits" (via Polygon).

In addition to this, the lawsuit states that Microsoft's acquisition plans were not in Activision Blizzard's "best interest", nor that of Kyle Watson's and their fellow shareholders. Watson claims the preliminary proxy statement Activision Blizzard filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission was "materially deficient" and did not give them the appropriate data that would allow them to make an "intelligent, informed and rational decision of whether to vote in favour of the proposed transaction".

Elsewhere, the lawsuit claims that the board "failed to create an independent committee composed of disinterested directors to run the sales process".

"We disagree with the allegations made in this complaint and look forward to presenting our arguments to the Court," an Activision Blizzard spokesperson said in response.

Following Kyle Watson's lawsuit yesterday, shareholder Shiva Stein filed their own lawsuit against Activision Blizzard and its board earlier today. This lawsuit is similar to that of Watson's.

However, Polygon states that Stein is "one of the most 'prolific' securities plaintiffs in the United States" and they have "filed 124 securities lawsuits from 2018 and 2020". Half of these have been voluntarily dismissed.

In addition to the above lawsuits, Activision Blizzard is also currently undergoing investigations following numerous allegations of sexual misconduct and workplace abuse.

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Victoria Kennedy

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Victoria developed a deep love for video games since watching her brothers barrel their way through Goldeneye 007. She will unashamedly spout forth all sorts of niche Zelda lore to anyone who will listen (and even at times to those who won’t), and makes the best pancakes you have ever seen.

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