Watchdogs Could Be Looking Into Ubisoft In A Whole Different Way
It’s tough at the top for Ubisoft at the moment. In February we talked about the possibility of a hostile takeover by French mass media giant Vivendi. If this wasn’t bad enough for the company they are now apparently facing allegations of insider trading on the french stock market.
Insider trading is the act of trading stock or other commodities on an open, public market using knowledge that is not available to the public as a whole. This is generally carried out by people from within the company. It has been alleged that the Autorite des marches financiers (AMF) who are the regulatory body for the French stock market are investigating certain trades carried out by Ubisoft CEO Yannis Mallat and four other senior figures at the company.
The trades allegedly been looked into involve the sale of Ubisoft stock sold in the weeks leading up to the announcement that both Watch Dogs 2 and The Crew would be delayed. Both of these announcements had a dramatic effect on the value of the companies stock on markets around the world. On the french market the value fell by as much as 32 percent which is the largest drop in the companies value since it debuted on the market in 1996.The allegations been made against the executives allege that all parties concerned would have had knowledge of the delays before making the trades which would, on the face of it, seem fairly obvious. This would make it apparent that the people involved all infringed on French law regarding insider trading. In a statement Mallet has denied that he had any knowledge of the delays before he made the trades and that all of these decisions are made at a much lower level and he is not informed of the release state of the companies upcoming games in advance.
In a statement a representative at Ubisoft has said that the company are aware of but strenuously deny the allegations against any of the people concerned. In the statement the spokesperson said “Those individuals vigorously dispute their implication in this matter and the AMF’s interpretation of the facts. Yves Guillemot, cofounder and CEO of Ubisoft, does not question the good faith of the people involved and has reassured them that they have his full support and trust.”
A sanctions board will look further into the case later this month in Paris and Ubisoft are currently very keen to stress that no members of its board have been charged with any misconduct or wrongdoing, nor has the company itself.
We would like to stress that as of yet these are only allegations and nothing has yet been confirmed. We will be sure to keep you up to date on the state of affairs in this case and its implications for Ubisoft and the gaming industry as a whole.
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