French stock market regulator Autorité des marchés financiers (or “AMF” for short) has brought charges of insider trading against game publisher Ubisoft for actions which several Ubisoft employees allegedly took back in 2013.
The AMF claims that back in 2013, shortly before Ubisoft announced delays for both The Crew and the original Watch Dogs, five different Ubisoft employees sold significant amounts of stock in the company, circumventing the 25 percent drop which Ubisoft’s stock suffered once the delays were announced. In response to the charges, Ubisoft released the below statement to outlets like Kotaku who reported on the initial charges:
"Ubisoft is aware that an action being brought by the French Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) involves five of our team members. Those individuals vigorously dispute their implication in this matter and the AMF’s interpretation of the facts. Yves Guillemot, Co-Founder 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.
"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."
Meanwhile, Ubisoft is busy making sure that the release of Watch Dogs 2 goes smoothly.