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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is investigating Activision Blizzard for how the company handled sexual misconduct allegations, among other things. The federal agency has subpoenaed several senior executives, including CEO Bobby Kotick, according to to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

“The company is cooperating with the SEC,” an Activision Blizzard spokesperson said in a statement to the WSJ. The Call of Duty and Overwatch developer and publisher is reportedly being asked to hand over documents such as records of messages between leadership executives.

Activision Blizzard now faces multiple lawsuits and investigations, including ones brought on by California regulators, shareholders, workers through the National Labor Relations Board and one by the Justice Department. The company has remained silent since the original lawsuit from the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing was made public in July. Outside “tone deaf” statements made by company leadership, executives haven’t said much outside boilerplate commitments made during an earnings call last month.

Activision Blizzard faces another investigation

Company leadership has yet to respond to demands made by ABetterABK, a group of anonymous workers set on changing the culture at the publisher. The demands include an end to forced arbitration, adding workers input to hiring practices, publication of company-wide compensation data and empowerment of a diversity and inclusion task force. Workers within the company worked with the Communications Workers of America to file unfair labor charges against Activision-Blizzard for worker intimidation on Sept. 14.

Activision-Blizzard was originally sued by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing for worker discrimination in July. The lawsuit claimed that Activision-Blizzard fostered a toxic workplace environment with a “frat boy” culture that allowed for repeated discrimination and sexual harassment towards female employees.

Two weeks ago, the DFEH released a statement that accused Activision-Blizzard of stymying the investigation. The accusation alleges that the human resources department actively destroyed information relevant to the DFEH investigation. Activision-Blizzard is legally obliged to maintain all documents relevant to the investigation and destroying evidence would be considered an obstruction towards the investigation.

Aron Garst looks at esports from a different point of view by tackling the ways games are molded and broken by players around the world. He covers Call of Duty, Fortnite, Super Smash Bros, and everything else for Upcomer. You can read his previous work at WIRED, Rolling Stone, ESPN and elsewhere. Rise up red sea.
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