Activision Blizzard’s mistreatment of its workers over the years has led to a number of issues for the video game publisher. Already the subject of multiple lawsuits and legal investigations, Acti-Blizz has found itself in some incredibly hot water with the United States government. The Securities and Exchange Commission has announced that Activision Blizzard will pay a hefty $35 million settlement for failing to maintain disclosure controls regarding workplace misconduct complaints and violating the SEC’s whistleblower rule.
The SEC shared a press release to its website today to announce the Activision Blizzard settlement. The video game publisher will pay $35 million to the government organization for a couple of major infractions. First, Activision Blizzard failed to properly “collect and analyze employee complaints of workplace misconduct” between the years 2018 and 2021 as a result of a lack of procedure to do so. The SEC states that the company was well aware that it lacked the ability to “attract, retain, and motivate employees.”
Activision Blizzard also violated the SEC’s whistleblower rule. Between 2016 and 2021, separation agreements between the publisher and ex-employees required the former workers to provide notice to Activision Blizzard if they were given a request for information from members of the SEC staff.
“The SEC’s order finds that Activision Blizzard failed to implement necessary controls to collect and review employee complaints about workplace misconduct, which left it without the means to determine whether larger issues existed that needed to be disclosed to investors,” said Jason Burt, Director of the SEC’s Denver Regional Office. “Moreover, taking action to impede former employees from communicating directly with the Commission staff about a possible securities law violation is not only bad corporate governance, it is illegal.”