Swedish agency sues Microsoft over merger with Activision

Deal is accused of being fraudulent to clear the bar of Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision

Sjunde AP-Fonden, a Swedish government agency responsible for administering the country’s pensions, has filed a lawsuit against Microsoft for its merger with Activision Blizzard. While the UK Commerce Authority (CMA) is concerned about the impact this could have on the gaming industry, the agency’s concern has other reasons.

They claim that the merger between the two companies was nothing more than an attempt by the companies to exploit the crisis experienced by the gaming giant.

What led to the Sjunde AP-Fonden lawsuit is the various sex scandal cases that Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision, has been involved in in recent years. They claim that the merger between the two companies was nothing more than an attempt by the companies to exploit the crisis experienced by the gaming giant.

For them, the merger between Microsoft and Activision was “manipulated to exploit the sexual harassment crisis and protect its CEO”. In the process, all members and former members of Activision Blizzard’s board of directors are named. Furthermore, they claim that the $69 billion figure was designed only to keep Kotick in office until the end of the regulatory review.

Microsoft and Activision responded to the lawsuit

Despite being the biggest acquisition in the history of the games industry, Sjunde AP-Fonden claims that the deal between the two companies was “a bargain price” and that it is nothing more than a scam. The whole process has more than 205 pages and appears as one more problem that Microsoft will have to face if it wants to complete the merger with Activision.

“Microsoft knowingly exploited the harassment scandal and its commercial leverage over Activision precisely to offer Kotick a way to save its own skin. It conspired with Kotick and the board to help them escape the personal and professional fallout of this scandal” , the agency said.

Sought by Bloomberg Law, Activision said the whole deal was great, especially for shareholders. According to Joe Christinat, spokesman for the company, they obtained 98% approval and that it needed to go through a complete process to decide the right move for employees, shareholders and players. Less patient and more to the point, Microsoft only stated that the “proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard was legally and fairly negotiated.”

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Source: Bloomberg Law

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