Multiple law firms are investigating Microsoft's proposed $68.7 billion buyout of Activision-Blizzard for possible violations of securities laws.
Seven law firms have announced formal investigations into Microsoft's massive Activision-Blizzard acquisition proposal. The investigations are centered around three main points:
- Did Activision-Blizzard's board of directors act in the best interest of investors and shareholders?
- Are shareholders being compensated fairly by the terms?
- Is the deal violating SEC law?
The law firms are questioning the Activision-Blizzard board's exact motivations to sell. The Wall Street Journal reports that Activision's ongoing controversy and sexual discrimination lawsuits were a major factor behind the acquisition agreement.
Activision-Blizzard recently-filed SEC documents that say that there hasn't been any sexual harassment allegations made against higher-level employees:
"There are no, and since January 1, 2018, there have not been any, material allegations of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct or retaliation for making a claim of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct, in each case, that was alleged to have occurred on or after January 1, 2018 in the United States, by or against any current director, officer or employee holding a position at or above the level of Senior Vice President, in each case, of the Company or any of its Subsidiaries."
The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing is currently suing Activision-Blizzard on the grounds of sexual harrassment and discrimination.
Reports indicate that Activision-Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick knew about specific instances of sexual harrassment and hid the information from the board of directors.
Out of all the law firms, Johnson Fistel, LLP has the most compelling announcement that ties directly into the reports above:
Recently, the Activision board of directors, along with certain officers, have been named as defendants in multiple lawsuits alleging, among other things, they failed to properly oversee the Company in light of significant sexual harassment and discrimination claims by employees. It appears that the Activision board may have been motivated to sell the Company to Microsoft in order to escape personal liability arising from these lawsuits.
Moreover, CEO Bobby Kotick is continuing on with the acquired Company; Kotick is one of the members of management accused of wrongdoing. We intend to investigate why the directors approved the deal and seek damages on behalf of shareholders if warranted.
Below is a list of the law firms who are investigating the buyout and their announcement proposals. Following the list is a separate list of press releases issued by each firm.
- Wohl & Fruchter LLP - Our investigation concerns whether Activision's board acted in the best interests of ATVI shareholders in approving the acquisition by Microsoft, including whether the acquisition price adequately compensates ATVI shareholders, and whether all information regarding approval of the transaction has been fully disclosed.
- Rigrodsky Law, P.A. - Announces that it is investigating Activision Blizzard, Inc. ("Activision") (NASDAQ GS: ATVI) regarding possible breaches of fiduciary duties and other violations of law related to Activision's agreement to be acquired by Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ GS: MSFT).
- Brodsky & Smith - investigating potential claims against the Board of Directors of Activision Blizzard Inc. ("Activision" or the "Company") (Nasdaq - ATVI) for possible breaches of fiduciary duty and other violations of federal and state law in connection with the Company's agreement to be acquired by Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT). The investigation concerns whether the Activision Board breached its fiduciary duties to shareholders by failing to conduct a fair process, and whether Microsoft is paying too little for the Company.
- Moore Kuehn, PLLC - Activision has agreed to merge with Microsoft Corp. Under the proposed transaction, Activision shareholders will receive $95.00 in cash per share. Moore Kuehn is investigating whether the Boards of the above companies 1) acted to maximize shareholder value, 2) failed to disclose material information, and 3) conducted a fair process.
- Lifshitz Law Firm, P.C. - Announces investigation into possible breach of fiduciary duties in connection with the sale of ATVI to Microsoft Corp. for $95.00 in cash per share of ATVI owned.
- Halper Sadeh LLP - Investingating Activision Blizzard Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) concerning potential violations of the federal securities laws and/or breaches of fiduciary duties relating to its sale to Microsoft Corp. for $95.00 per share in cash.
- ATVI Alert: Monsey Firm of Wohl & Fruchter LLP Investigating Acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft
- Activision (ATVI) Alert: Johnson Fistel Investigates Proposed Sale of Activision to Microsoft; Are Shareholders Getting a Fair Deal?
- Rigrodsky Law, P.A. Announces Investigation of Activision Blizzard, Inc. Buyout
- SHAREHOLDER NOTICE: Brodsky & Smith Announces an Investigation of Activision Blizzard Inc. (Nasdaq - ATVI)
- Moore Kuehn Encourages ATVI, ZGNX, DNAC, and VHAQ Investors to Contact Law Firm
- Lifshitz Law Firm, P.C. Announces Investigation of ATVI, BFC, SMFR, and ZGNX
- Halper Sadeh LLP Investigates ATVI, VCRA, HXOH; Shareholders are Encouraged to Contact the Firm
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