Activision Blizzard Closes Investor Lawsuit Over Lack of Evidence

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Activision Blizzard filed another lawsuit today. A U.S. District Court judge has dismissed investors’ lawsuit against the company. This comes less than a month after the publisher settled a sexual harassment lawsuit for $18 million.

A group of investors from Activision Blizzard filed the lawsuit last year. Prosecutors alleged that the company’s leadership failed to expose the issues within the publisher and misled investors about their seriousness. These issues include the rampant harassment and discrimination alleged by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing lawsuit. They also claimed that the company failed to report the ongoing DFEH investigation.

The judge granted Activision’s request to dismiss the case. In summary, the court found that the plaintiffs (the investors) “provided a speculative conclusion without sufficient detail about defendants’ conduct to draw a strong conclusion of scientific inquiry.” (“Scientist” means knowledge of wrongdoing.)

One line of the ruling that caught my attention is the court’s comment about the climate surrounding sexual harassment allegations. The investors apparently claimed that following the MeToo movement, it was especially irresponsible of the defendants not to acknowledge that investigations would damage the company’s reputation. The judge replied: “The background to the #MeToo movement and the national media coverage of accused industry titans is too vague a concept to cast a strong conclusion from a scientist.”

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reported that the online branch of the Daily Mail, MailOnline, has twice attempted to publish a story about a restraining order against Bobby Kotick by his ex-girlfriend. Both times, the story was reportedly squashed at the behest of his then-girlfriend, Meta’s COO Sheryl Sandberg, who threatened the publication’s relationship with Facebook. Sandberg denied the allegations to the WSJ.

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