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Ubisoft Executives Allegedly Saved Millions By Selling Stocks Ahead of Watch Dogs and The Crew Delay
Autorité des marchés financiers, the French stock market regulators, has accused Ubisoft of Insider Trading. According to the regulatory body, Ubisoft is selling stock with knowledge from within the French Publisher. This presumably allowed them to save a decent chunk of money.
Autorité des marchés financiers has Ubisoft executives including CEO Yannis Mallat and four others. All parties sold stocks in the weeks before October 15, 2013. This is the time when Ubisoft announced a delay for both The Crew and Watch Dogs 2. The delay caused a drop of 25% in the stock market, conveniently avoided by Ubisoft executives.
AMF claims that all five executives knew about the delay as well as how it will affect the stock. To avoid a loss, they sold their stocks, violating French laws of insider trading.
Kotaku got in touch with Ubisoft and obtained the following statement.
These proceedings revolve around Ubisoft’s temporary stock market drop in the fall of 2013, after it was announced that Watch Dogs and The Crew would be delayed. The French AMF is alleging that before the announcement the team members in question may have sold securities while being in possession of insider information. The proceedings will continue in November at the Commission des Sanctions (sanctions board) in Paris.
Ubisoft itself has not been charged by the AMF.
Moreover, three of the Canadian team members implicated in the AMF’s action today filed a motion with the Superior Court of Québec demanding that the procedure be declared invalid and seeking damages against AMF France and AMF Québec.
This is a developing story and we will have more updates for you in the future.