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Netflix sued by Activision Blizzard for allegedly poaching its former CFO – MarketWatch

(Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)


AFP via Getty Images

Activision Blizzard Inc.
ATVI,
+2.65%

is suing Netflix Inc.
NFLX,
+0.16%

for allegedly poaching its former finance chief and causing competitive harm, citing a pattern of behavior by the streaming giant.

In a complaint filed in Los Angeles Superior Court Friday, the videogame publishing company said Netflix illegally recruited Spencer Neumann in late 2018, prompting a contract breach that disrupted business operations. Activision said the move also cost it business opportunities as well as millions of dollars paid out to retain other executives.

Neumann, who previously held roles at the Walt Disney Co.
DIS,
+0.59%

and private-equity firms, joined Activision as its finance chief in May 2017. The employment contract initially carried a three-year term.

“Netflix has a demonstrated pattern of caring only about attracting and employing whoever Netflix wants, regardless of whether it violates the law along the way,” the suit claims.

A spokesman for Netflix declined to comment on the lawsuit.

An expanded version of this report appears at WSJ.com.

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