In the wake of reports that saw Activision Blizzard plunged into chaos throughout 2021 and 2022, the Diablo, World of Warcraft, Overwatch, and multiplayer game creator will pay a $35 million penalty fine.
A recent Bloomberg article states that Activision Blizzard will pay the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) $35 million in response to a cease-and-desist order. Activision Blizzard will not have to confirm or deny the findings in the SEC’s report.
The report states that the SEC found that Activision Blizzard did not properly understand the issues occurring within its general working spaces because it “lacked the proper controls.” It then prevented employees from discussing the situation with the SEC by asking them to notify the company if they received a private SEC enquiry.
On this point specifically, director of the SEC’s regional office in Denver Jason Burt comments “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.”
Despite this, the company has settled the cease-and-desist for $35 million, stating that it is “pleased to have amicably resolved this matter” and has gone on to “enhance” its disclosure process in the wake of the sexual harassment allegations.
For a detailed timeline of the Activision Blizzard lawsuit, we have an rundown of the entire situation. These allegations, however, relate to claims of sexual harassment in the workplace, where male employees allegedly fostered a “pervasive frat boy culture” without fear of repercussion.