Microsoft-Activision Merger Challenged by U.S. Senators

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

Microsoft-Activision Merger Challenged by U.S. Senators
Todd Bishop, GeekWire

Activision Blizzard’s $69 billion merger with Microsoft is being challenged by four U.S. senators, who are urging the Federal Trade Commission to reconsider approving the buyout because it wouldn’t benefit workers.

In a letter to the FTC Chair Lina Khan reviewed by the Wall Street Journal, Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders and Sheldon Whitehouse said they are “deeply concerned about consolidation in the tech industry and its impact on workers.”


The senators noted that Activision CEO Bobby Kotick would be allowed to continue in his role and would receive a sizable exit package if the deal closes—despite calls from both employees and shareholders for Kotick to resign amid his handling of rampant sexual misconduct allegations against the company.

“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 wrote. The lawmakers also encouraged the FTC to reject the Microsoft-Activision deal if there’s proof the merger would make it harder for workers to negotiate with the companies.

In a response to dot.LA’s inquiries, Activision stated that it “is committed to a safe and equitable working environment for all employees and has invested significant resources to ensure we’re creating a model for the industry.”

Earlier this week, the company finalized a $18 million settlement with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that will create a fund for employees wronged by sexual harassment during the time at the company. But Activision continues to face federal and state investigations into its handling of workplace misconduct, as well as lawsuits from current and former employees.

Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal also reported on Thursday that the Justice Department is now investigating Kotick for potential insider trading violations. The CEO reportedly met with three shareholders accused of insider trading—media moguls David Geffen and Barry Diller, as well as Prince Alexander von Furstenberg—before the merger with Microsoft was announced. Shortly thereafter, the three investors are said to have purchased options trades worth nearly $60 million in profits.

https://twitter.com/samsonamore
samsonamore@dot.la

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.

Cadence

Diankha Linear on How Community Is Revolutionizing Text Marketing

Spencer Rascoff

Spencer Rascoff serves as executive chairman of dot.LA. He is an entrepreneur and company leader who co-founded Zillow, Hotwire, dot.LA, Pacaso and Supernova, and who served as Zillow's CEO for a decade. During Spencer's time as CEO, Zillow won dozens of "best places to work" awards as it grew to over 4,500 employees, $3 billion in revenue, and $10 billion in market capitalization. Prior to Zillow, Spencer co-founded and was VP Corporate Development of Hotwire, which was sold to Expedia for $685 million in 2003. Through his startup studio and venture capital firm, 75 & Sunny, Spencer is an active angel investor in over 100 companies and is incubating several more.

​Diankha Linear
Diankha Linear

On this episode of Office Hours, Community CEO Diankha Linear joins host Spencer Rascoff to discuss her foray into the startup world and the strategic approaching to scaling up.

Read moreShow less
https://twitter.com/spencerrascoff
https://www.linkedin.com/in/spencerrascoff/
admin@dot.la

LA Tech ‘Moves’: Dreamscape, LinQuest and PetDX Gain New CEOs

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

LA Tech ‘Moves’: Dreamscape, LinQuest and PetDX Gain New CEOs

“Moves,” our roundup of job changes in L.A. tech, is presented by Interchange.LA, dot.LA's recruiting and career platform connecting Southern California's most exciting companies with top tech talent. Create a free Interchange.LA profile here—and if you're looking for ways to supercharge your recruiting efforts, find out more about Interchange.LA's white-glove recruiting service by emailing Sharmineh O’Farrill Lewis (sharmineh@dot.la). Please send job changes and personnel moves to moves@dot.la.

***

Read moreShow less

This Week in ‘Raises’: ADARx Pharmaceuticals Lands $46M, PLAI Labs Scores $32M

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

This Week in ‘Raises’: ADARx Pharmaceuticals Lands $46M, PLAI Labs Scores $32M
This Week in ‘Raises’: ContractSafe Inks $27.5M, Deal Box Collects $125M

A local RNA base-editing platform raised fresh funding to advance its drug development pipeline, while a local Web3 company founded by former MySpace and Jam City founders Chris DeWolfe and Aber Whitcomb scored funding to build out an artificial intelligence backed by generative AI that allows users to create and upload their own digital assets to the game.

***

Read moreShow less
RELATEDEDITOR'S PICKS
LA TECH JOBS
interchangeLA
Trending