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Activision sues Netflix over poaching of former finance chief

The document accused Netflix of unfair competition, intentional interference with an employee contract as well as aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty

Photo: REUTERS/Mike Blake
  • Netflix did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for a comment;
  • Netflix had appointed Neumann as Chief Financial Officer in January 2019.

Activision Blizzard sued Netflix on Friday, alleging that the video-streaming giant engaged in “unlawfully poaching” company executives, including its former finance chief, Spencer Neumann.

Netflix had appointed Neumann as Chief Financial Officer in January 2019, after Activision terminated his employment for violating legal obligations to the company.

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“Netflix has a pattern and practice of unlawfully inducing employees of other competitors to breach their fixed-term contracts,” Activision said in a court filing, adding that Netflix knowingly induced Neumann to breach his employment contract with Activision.

Netflix did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for a comment.

The document, filed in a state court in California, accused Netflix of unfair competition, intentional interference with an employee contract as well as aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty.

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Netflix’s unlawful conduct is reflective of its contempt for the law of the state of California, the videogame publisher said in the filing while seeking damages and injunctive relief.

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