U.S. probes options trade gained on Microsoft-Activision deal – WSJ


(Reuters) – U.S. Federal prosecutors and securities regulators are investigating giant bets that Barry Diller, Alexander von Furstenberg and David Geffen made on Activision Blizzard Inc shares in January, days earlier than the videogame maker agreed to be acquired by Microsoft Corp, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

IAC Chairman Diller, his stepson von Furstenberg, and music mogul Geffen have an unrealized revenue of about $60 million on the options trade, primarily based on the current Activision share value of round $80, based on the report, citing folks conversant in the matter.

The Justice Department is investigating whether or not any of the options trades violated insider-buying and selling legal guidelines, the report stated, including that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is individually conducting a civil insider-buying and selling investigation.

Spokespersons for the Justice Department and the SEC didn’t reply to Reuters’ request for remark.

IAC didn’t reply to a Reuters request for remark, whereas von Furstenberg and Geffen couldn’t instantly be reached.

Diller had confirmed that the three have been contacted by regulators, however added that none of them had materials non-public details about the Microsoft-Activision deal, WSJ stated.

“It was merely a fortunate wager,” Diller instructed the Journal. “We acted on no data of any type from anybody. It is a kind of coincidences.”

In January, Microsoft introduced plans to purchase Activision the “Call of Duty” maker for $68.7 billion within the greatest gaming trade deal in historical past.

(Reporting by Radhika Anilkumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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