US Investigating Three Activision Blizzard Shareholders For The Potential Of Insider Trading

Three Activi­sion Bliz­zard shareholders–Fox founder Bar­ry Diller, music indus­try mogul David Gef­fen, and Alexan­der von Fursten­berg (the son of Diller’s wife Diane von Furstenberg)–are all under inves­ti­ga­tion by the U.S. gov­ern­ment for pos­si­bly inside trading.

The Wall Street Jour­nal report­ed the trio caught the atten­tion of both the US Jus­tice Depart­ment and the Secu­ri­ties and Exchange Com­mis­sion after buy­ing a large num­ber of Activi­sion Bliz­zard shares right before Microsoft­’s announce­ment it would be seek­ing to acquire the com­pa­ny. To be more pre­cise, the men bought 4.12 mil­lion Activi­sion Bliz­zard shares for around $108 mil­lion, four days before Microsoft­’s big announce­ment, after which these share prices increased.

Diller seems to be the major per­son of inter­est for the inves­ti­ga­tion, as he has a per­son­al friend­ship with Activi­sion Bliz­zard CEO Bob­by Kotick. The two served on Coca-Cola’s board of direc­tors togeth­er, and Diller has called Kotick “a long­time friend.”

The WJS spoke with Diller, who said his pur­chase of Activi­sion Bliz­zard shares at an oppor­tune time was “sim­ply a lucky bet” and that it was “one of those coin­ci­dences.” He stat­ed the trio though that Activi­sion Bliz­zard’s sit­u­a­tion put them in a potion that meant the com­pa­ny “would either go pri­vate or would be acquired at some point.”

It was recent­ly announced that Kotick would step down from Coca-Cola’s board of direc­tors so he can focus his atten­tion on Activi­sion Bliz­zard pri­or to its merg­er with Microsoft. This deal has yet to be approved, but it’s expect­ed to be final­ized in 2023. Should it final­ize, Kotick could be get­ting a $15 mil­lion “gold­en para­chute” as a result of the buyout.

I am a Platinum lover and an ex- Cod-aholic. I've been playing games since I was 5 years old and I refuse to quit, despite my mother's attempts to get me to. God of War and its successors are my all time favorite games.

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