The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has begun a formal investigation into Activision Blizzard and the legal complaints lodged against it since July, the Wall Street Journal reports. The SEC is an agency responsible for enforcing securities laws and ensuring companies disclose the full truth about their financial situations.
The Commission is specifically examining how the Call of Duty publisher responded to reports of gender pay gaps and sexual harassment, in addition to how CEO Bobby Kotick and other executive leaders handled disclosing the complaints to investors and other parties.
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Launches Activision Blizzard Investigation
In August, following the state of California's initial lawsuit, Activision Blizzard investors filed a second suit against the company that claimed Kotick and others deliberately misled them about the company's internal stability and future outlook.
The WSJ's sources say the SEC issued subpeonas for Bobby Kotick, "several senior executives," employee files, minutes from board meetings, and separation agreements entered into when the company parted with figures reportedly involved in the events Activision Blizzard faced lawsuits over.
The goal, WSJ said, is determining whether the company should have shared any of this information with investors earlier. While Activision Blizzard promised to fight the original lawsuit and reportedly harassed employees after they formed a workers' organization, an SEC spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal the company is cooperating with their investigation.