US senators call out lack of accountability for Bobby Kotick in Microsoft deal

US senators call out lack of accountability for Bobby Kotick in Microsoft deal

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Source: Activision Blizzard

The proposed Microsoft and Activision Blizzard deal is headed to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), but four U.S. senators are urging the committee to consider the companies’ histories with workers in their inquiry.

Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Sheldon Whitehouse, and Cory Booker submitted the letter to FTC chairwoman Lina Khan on Thursday. The Wall Street Journal first posted the story, and Stephen Totilo of Axios posted the text of the letter on Twitter, which you can read below.

In summization, the letter said that, “the FTC should consider the history described… when assessing anticompetitive effects that this gigantic merger may produce, and carefully determine the meaning of Microsoft’s promise to ‘not stand in the way’ of unionization efforts.”

The senators call out a number of things to Khan. First off, they go through the basics of the toxic workplace lawsuit, along with the recent update that the company’s $18 million settlement to settle gender-based discrmination allegations was approved by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the continued reports from current and former employees about the company.

The letter also notes how the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is conducting an investigation into the executives, most prominently CEO Bobby Kotick, who is alleged to have covered up accusations of sexual misconduct at the company and have been aware of other incidents. Many employees and contractors have signed a petition calling for his removal. It’s reported that Kotick will have a sizeable compensation package when he apparently steps down from his position following the Microsoft acquisition.

“This lack of accountability, despite shareholders, employees, and the public calling for Kotick to be held responsible for the culture he created, would be an unacceptable result of the proposed Microsoft acquisition,” the senators continued.

The unionization efforts at Raven Software also got a mention. To recap: In January, multiple QA workers at the Call of Duty developer formed the Game Worker’s Alliance following multiple layoffs and a seven-week-long strike. Activision Blizzard still has not recognized the union.

We’ve reached out to both Activision Blizzard and Microsoft for comment and we’ll update the story if we hear back.





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