As regulators and lawmakers tighten the noose around Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard and the latter’s handling of malpractice, Xbox CEO Phil Spencer has been revealed to have approached Bobby Kotick to express interest in a trade deal just days after Kotick and his management team were accused of wrongdoing. The Wall Street Journal’s explosive report, which exposed a history of systematic abuse at Activision Blizzard and accused Kotick of being aware of it and participating in misconduct, sent the company’s stock plummeting. Spencer previously said he was troubled by the allegations against Kotick and said Microsoft would review its relationship with the company.
What the SEC reveals about the Xbox Activision deal
A U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing reads:
On November 19, 2021, during a conversation on a different topic between Mr. Spencer and Mr. Kotick, Mr. Spencer raised that Microsoft was interested in discussing strategic opportunities between Activision Blizzard and Microsoft and asked if he would be possible to have a call with Mr. Nadella the next day. Mr. Kotick agreed to participate in this discussion.
The aforementioned WSJ report, which contained allegations against Kotick, was published on November 16. This revelation comes amid an ongoing malpractice investigation at Activision Blizzard. According to the WSJ, authorities subpoenaed several leaders, including Kotick, but were met with resistance.
Opinion: Microsoft is a company and Spencer is a businessman
Zarmena writes… I continue to be surprised by the number of people expressing their shock at these revelations. Spencer seems to have a good public profile, but he works for a global multinational that is focused on expanding its reach and making a profit. Microsoft jumping at the chance to buy Activision Blizzard as soon as its stock fell is hardly surprising. What really deserves criticism, however, is that Kotick easily escapes.
In other news, Guerrilla Games revealed that Horizon Forbidden West was delayed to avoid crunch, and explained why the game’s loading screen has been revamped on the PS5.
[Source: SEC via The Verge]