SEC Launches Investigation Into Activision Blizzard Over Handling Of Sexual Harassment, Discrimination Allegations


Activision Blizzard is being investigated by federal regulators over the company's handling of employees' allegations of sexual misconduct and workplace discrimination. As reported by The Wall Street Journal, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has subpoenaed Activision Blizzard and multiple senior executives including CEO Bobby Kotick.

The SEC has requested a wide range of documents from Activision Blizzard, including board meeting minutes since 2019, personnel files of six former employees, and separation agreements the company had reached with staffers in 2021, according to records obtained by WSJ. It also requested Kotick's communications with other senior executives in regards to complaints about sexual harassment or discrimination by Activision Blizzard employees and contractors.

An Activision Blizzard spokesperson confirmed to GameSpot that the SEC is investigating the company.

"The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is conducting an investigation concerning the Company's disclosures regarding employment matters and related issues, and has issued subpoenas to the Company and several current and former employees that seek information related to this. The Company is cooperating with the SEC," an Activision Blizzard spokesperson told GameSpot.

The SEC is seeking to discern if Activision Blizzard properly disclosed allegations of workplace harassment and gender-pay issues, and if that information should have been shared with investors and other parties earlier.

An investigation by a federal agency like the SEC escalates the ongoing legal trouble Activision Blizzard has been dealing with since the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing sued the company for alleged issues of sexual harassment and discrimination back in July. California updated its lawsuit in late August, accusing Activision Blizzard of shredding evidence related to the investigation.