The board of U.S. video game publisher Activision Blizzard said on Thursday there was no evidence that management ignored or minimized allegations of sexual harassment.
Microsoft’s blockbuster $69 billion (Rs 53,842.4 crore) deal to buy the company behind hit games like Candy Crush and Call of Duty has been dogged by lawsuits and worker allegations.
Its chief executive, Bobby Kotick, has apologized on behalf of the group and implemented a “zero tolerance” policy, while dozens of staff have been sanctioned or sacked.
But the executive had been aware of the harassment reports for years and tried to keep the incidents a secret, according to the Wall Street Journal.
In a filing with U.S. market regulators, the company acknowledged on Thursday there had been cases of gender-based harassment.
“The board of directors and its external advisors have determined that there is no evidence that Activision Blizzard’s senior executives ever knowingly ignored or attempted to downplay incidents of sexual harassment that occurred and were reported,” the filing said.
The company and its advisors “have not found, directly or indirectly, any evidence that any senior executive or employee attempted to withhold information from the board.”
Activision also hired Gilbert Casellas, former chairman of the U.S. discrimination watchdog Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), to conduct the review.
According to the company, he concluded that there was no pervasive harassment, recurring pattern, or harassment at Activision Blizzard or any of its subsidiaries.
However, the company struck a deal with the EEOC last year to set up an $18 million (Rs 1.41 crore) compensation fund for harassment victims.
Activision also faces a lawsuit from the California rights watchdog, which filed a lawsuit last year accusing the company of sexual harassment and discrimination.