Some U.S. senators give the Microsoft-Activision buyout the big stink-eye

    
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Not everyone is jumping up and down in approval over the upcoming $68.7 billion Microsoft buyout of Activision Blizzard. According to the Wall Street Journal — or “the Wall” among friends — a quartet of democrat Senators wrote a letter of concern over the acquisition to the Federal Trade Commission.

Senators Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, and Sheldon Whitehouse argued that the buyout could “exacerbate the flurry of sexual-abuse, harassment and retaliation allegations at Activision stemming from recent federal and state investigations.”

There was also consternation over the fact that CEO Bobby Kotick hadn’t been booted from Activision-Blizzard yet.

In response, an Activision representative issued a response that said everything’s hunky-dory over there: “The transaction between Microsoft and Activision Blizzard will not interrupt any of the actions the Activision Blizzard’s leadership team has implemented throughout 2021 and is continuing to implement in 2022 with regards to improving our workplace […] No additional special compensation arrangements for Mr. Kotick were entered into in connection with the transaction.”

Activision continues to be in the headlines this week, as ABK finalized its $18 million settlement with California’s Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Source: Wall Street Journal, Gamespot. Thanks Schlag!
Activision-Blizzard is considered a controversial gaming company owing to a long string of scandals over the last few years, including the Blitzchung boycott, mass layoffs, labor disputes, and executive pay fiasco. In 2021, the company was sued by California for fostering a work environment rife with sexual harassment and discrimination, the disastrous corporate response to which compounded Blizzard’s ongoing pipeline issues and the widespread perception that its online games are in decline. Multiple state and federal agencies are investigating the company as employees strike and call for Bobby Kotick’s resignation. As of 2022, the company is being acquired by no less than Microsoft.

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