Tuesday 15th November 2016
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A number of Ubisoft executives have been accused of using insider knowledge to sell and profit from their stocks, although the Assassin’s Creed publisher has denied this is the case.
The allegations originate from Autorit� des march�s financiers, the regulator for France’s stock market, according to Kotaku. There are five execs suspected of insider trading, including Yannis Mallat, CEO of Ubisoft Montreal.
AMF’s claims state that all five sold some of their Ubisoft stock in the weeks running up to October 15th, 2013 – the day the publisher announced both the upcoming Watch Dogs and The Crew would be delayed to 2014. Delays often cause publisher stocks to fall; in this case, Ubisoft’s dropped by approximately 25 per cent.
The regulator accuses Mallat and his colleagues of selling the stock based on their knowledge of the forthcoming delay, a violation of France’s insider trading laws. Mallat has since denied any knowledge of the delay at the time he sold his stocks.
The proceedings of this case will continue in November at Paris’ Commission des Sanctions. Three of the accused based in Canada have filed a a motion with Quebec’s Supreme Court demanding the procedure be declared invalid. They are also seeking damages against the AMF in both France and Quebec.
Ubisoft released a statement to Kotaku, stressing that the company itself has not been charged by the AMF and that the five execs “vigourously dispute their implication in this matter”. The publisher added that co-founder and CEO Yves Guillemot will also stand by his staff.
“[He] does not question the good faith of the people involved and has reassured them that they have his full support and trust,” the statement reads.