According to the Wall Street Journal, three wealthy businessmen, Barry Dillerone of the founders of Fox, Alexander von Fürstenberg and the music mogul David Geffen, are under two separate federal investigations for suspicion of insider trading. They would have bought a large amount of Activision Blizzard shares shortly before the announcement of the acquisition by Microsoft, which naturally increased their value significantly.
In total, the trio would have bought shares for a total value of 108 million dollars, just days before the announcement of the deal. Immediately thereafter, their value grew enormously to $ 168 million, with profits of $ 60 million for the trio.
The timing and the amount spent, in addition to the relationship of one of the three with Activision Blizzard, have generated more than a few suspicions. As a result, the US Department of Justice has launched an investigation into the violation of the insider trading law, followed by the Securities and Exchange Commission which has in turn initiated a civil investigation into the same offense.
Of the three, the most relevant figure in the case is that of Barry Diller, as he served on the board of Coca-Cola along with Bobby Kotickthe CEO of Activision Blizzard, until the recent exit of the latter from the same (which is also due to these investigations, as well as those for not having supervised the sexual abuse committed in Activision Blizzard?) The two were not just colleagues, as Diller called Kotick a “longtime friend”.
Diller is also a close friend of Geffen’s and is married to von Furstenberg’s mother. This should clarify why the SEC and Department of Justice investigations started.
Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Diller called the stock purchase a simple lucky bet and denied having any prior information. In short, according to him it would be a mere coincidence. Alexander von Fürstenberg instead stated that he had bought the shares because he had sensed that sooner or later Activision Blizzard would be acquired.
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