Activision Blizzard settles sexual harassment suit

Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

A U.S. district judge has agreed on a deal to settle a sexual harassment suit between Activision Blizzard and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

District Judge Dale Fischer approved an $18 million settlement between the two parties, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The deal was approved despite objections from the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), which filed a sexual harrasment suit first.

Activision Blizzard is currently waiting for permission to get acquired by Microsoft, a deal that would create one of the largest entertainment companies in the world. While all this is going on, the company is in the midst of a number of battles; with regulators, and with former employees.

“I’m going to sign the consent decree, which will close this case,” Fischer told a lawyer for DFEH. “You already filed a motion. Your request is untimely. Talk to the Ninth Circuit.”

Bobby Kotick, the CEO of Activision Blizzard, said that the company is going to continue to work on “eliminating harassment and discrimination.” He continued:

“The court’s approval of this settlement is an important step in ensuring that our employees have mechanisms for recourse if they experienced any form of harassment or retaliation.”

A lot of the controversy stems from a so-called “Cosby Suite” where female executives were reportedly objectified and harrassed. One woman committed suicide after coworkers shared nude pictures of her at a holiday party.

The DFEH filed the first lawsuit followed by the EEOC. An ensuing turf war has led to the latest decision, and brought Activision Blizzard one step closer to the acquisition, which is worth $68.7 billion.