Apr 14, 2022 - Technology

Group urges investors to reject Activision, Microsoft merger

Photo: Michael Ciaglo/Bloomberg via Getty Images

SOC Investment Group is urging investors to vote against the proposed Activision Blizzard and Microsoft merger during Activision’s upcoming meeting on April 28.

Why it matters: SOC, which owns “a small percentage” of Activision stock, is calling for investors to elect “a new, competent, and dedicated board of directors” at the company’s next meeting.

Driving the news: “We are skeptical that any transaction with Microsoft (or a similar acquirer) would be viable, given the shift in the climate of anti-trust enforcement, as well as evident sources of potential harms to competition stemming from the merger,” executive director Dieter Waizenegger wrote in a prepared statement.

  • This transaction fails to properly value Activision and its future earnings potential, in significant part because it ignores the role that the sexual harassment crisis — and the Activision board’s incompetent handling of it — has played in delaying product releases and depressing the share price.”
  • “In overseeing the merger negotiations, the Activision board went above and beyond in its fecklessness,” Waizenegger continued.

Catch up quick: Microsoft announced plans to acquire Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion in cash in January.

  • SOC has been highly critical of Activision Blizzard’s response to its harassment scandal, previously saying it has not ​​gone "nearly far enough to address the deep and widespread issues with equity, inclusion, and human capital management."

In his statement today, Waizenegger said that “Activision shareholders would be better served by replacing the incumbent board with directors that would allow the company to assume its real potential, including actively engaging with and empowering Activision Blizzard employees in their effort to rebuild the corporate culture and restore the company’s reputation.”

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