FILE PHOTO: The Netflix logo is pictured on a television remote in this illustration photograph taken in Encinitas, California
FILE PHOTO: The Netflix logo is pictured on a television remote in this illustration photograph taken in Encinitas, California, U.S., January 18, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake

December 4, 2020

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

Netflix had appointed https://www.reuters.com/finance/article/us-netflix-cfo/netflix-poaches-activisions-neumann-for-cfo-role-idUSKCN1OW1BA Neumann as Chief Financial Officer in January 2019, after Activision terminated his employment for violating legal obligations to the company.

“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.

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.

(Reporting by Ayanti Bera in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)

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