"Famous law firm" to file securities fraud suit against EA over Battlefield 4

By on December 19, 2013, 2:30 PM

It's only been around a week since the US-based law firm Holzer Holzer and Fistel LLC began investigating Electronic Arts over possible violation of federal securities laws concerning Battlefield 4. Now another US-based firm, Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP, is taking things a step further by bringing forth a lawsuit against the developer. If that particular firm sounds familiar to some of you, it's because they were the legal team behind the infamous Enron lawsuit. The group is attempting to launch a class-action lawsuit against EA on the grounds that the company made “materially false and misleading statements” in regards to Battlefield 4.

The complaints outlined in the accusation pertain to laws that were introduced by the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and pertain to any and all testimony about Battlefield 4 between the dates of July 24 and December 4, 2013. The claim suggests that EA's stock rose to a high-point of $28.13 per share by August 23, 2013, thanks to the “retail strength” of Battlefield 4. This allowed “certain of Electronic Arts’ senior executives to sell their Electronic Arts stock at artificially inflated prices.”

In short, the firm believes that EA purposely misled buyers and stockholders, allowing ranks within its company to cash in on stock that they “may have known” would fall dramatically once the game was actually released. This tactic would have allowed individuals to sell their shares at a high price, anticipating their inevitable plummet, in which they would then be able to “re-purchase” their shares after making a quick profit. The firm is also investigating the Playstation 4 version of the title, claiming that the disclosure of its problems lead EA's share value to drop. EA's stock also dropped substantially when the company announced that it would be putting all future projects on hold.

EA has responded to the media concerning the lawsuit, releasing the following statement:

“We believe these claims are meritless. We intend to aggressively defend ourselves, and we’re confident the court will dismiss the complaint in due course."

If you're curious about the details of the lawsuit, you can check out the claim in its entirety at the following link.




User Comments: 17

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cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

This tactic would have allowed individuals to sell their shares at a high price, anticipating their inevitable plummet, in which they would then be able to "re-purchase" their shares after making a quick profit.
Did that actually happen? If not, then I don't see where the suit has grounds to stand.

jester376 said:

This tactic would have allowed individuals to sell their shares at a high price, anticipating their inevitable plummet, in which they would then be able to "re-purchase" their shares after making a quick profit.
Did that actually happen? If not, then I don't see where the suit has grounds to stand.

Im pretty sure the intent to do it without doing it is outlined somewhere in the Securities Exchange Act. So even if they havent actually done it, they had a premeditated it and planned to do it. So theyre being tried on premeditating it not actually doing it.

2 people like this | amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

It's hard to give EA the benefit of the doubt as they are a headstrong/egotistical company and it shows with how they do business/make decisions.

1 person liked this | MilwaukeeMike said:

This tactic would have allowed individuals to sell their shares at a high price, anticipating their inevitable plummet, in which they would then be able to "re-purchase" their shares after making a quick profit.
Did that actually happen? If not, then I don't see where the suit has grounds to stand.

Im pretty sure the intent to do it without doing it is outlined somewhere in the Securities Exchange Act. So even if they havent actually done it, they had a premeditated it and planned to do it. So theyre being tried on premeditating it not actually doing it.

Thinking about being dishonest is a crime? I'm in a heap of trouble then.

This stuff is terribly hard to prosecute, so they must have some hard evidence or something. Proving intent is pretty tough, as is proving what someone knows and when. it's why libel and slander are so hard to prosecute too... because you have to prove someone does it with malicious intent.

Having a stock go down after a product release isn't uncommon either. Apple had it's high right before the iPhone 5 came out. Then they dropped like a stone after that release. and you want to know what's really creepy? EA went from 28 down to about 23, that's a drop of 17.85714% In Oct 2012 Apple went from 700 down to around 475, which is also a drop of 17.85714%. Exactly the same. There's a crazy coincidence.

Russ Boswell said:

That's the first thing I thought about when going through the process, "exactly how are they going to prove this?" The one thing I am curious about though is the law firm's reputation. These are the same people that handled the Enron fiasco, and part of me wants to think they wouldn't jeopardize their image by taking on a case they know is incredibly difficult to win, or one they will for sure lose.

It makes me believe that they have at least "something" that they feel is of great value to a court. Of course, in the world we live in today, any publicity is good publicity. Perhaps they are just "putting themselves back out there," win or lose.

This tactic would have allowed individuals to sell their shares at a high price, anticipating their inevitable plummet, in which they would then be able to "re-purchase" their shares after making a quick profit.
Did that actually happen? If not, then I don't see where the suit has grounds to stand.

Im pretty sure the intent to do it without doing it is outlined somewhere in the Securities Exchange Act. So even if they havent actually done it, they had a premeditated it and planned to do it. So theyre being tried on premeditating it not actually doing it.

Thinking about being dishonest is a crime? I'm in a heap of trouble then.

This stuff is terribly hard to prosecute, so they must have some hard evidence or something. Proving intent is pretty tough, as is proving what someone knows and when. it's why libel and slander are so hard to prosecute too... because you have to prove someone does it with malicious intent.

Having a stock go down after a product release isn't uncommon either. Apple had it's high right before the iPhone 5 came out. Then they dropped like a stone after that release. and you want to know what's really creepy? EA went from 28 down to about 23, that's a drop of 17.85714% In Oct 2012 Apple went from 700 down to around 475, which is also a drop of 17.85714%. Exactly the same. There's a crazy coincidence.

Guest said:

because you have to prove someone does it with malicious intent.

Not necessarily. I think there is a case to be made that EA/DICE made promises that they knew they could not keep due to the issues they were having. And they released the game anyway. If they can prove that they misled investors in the success of the game or company while knowing that it was having major problems, it could be a lawsuit. Enron had many lawsuits because they covered up the inevitable crash of the company.

Same as a car company getting investors for a release all the while knowing that it catches fire 10min off the lot.

jester376 said:

This tactic would have allowed individuals to sell their shares at a high price, anticipating their inevitable plummet, in which they would then be able to "re-purchase" their shares after making a quick profit.
Did that actually happen? If not, then I don't see where the suit has grounds to stand.

Im pretty sure the intent to do it without doing it is outlined somewhere in the Securities Exchange Act. So even if they havent actually done it, they had a premeditated it and planned to do it. So theyre being tried on premeditating it not actually doing it.

Thinking about being dishonest is a crime? I'm in a heap of trouble then.

This stuff is terribly hard to prosecute, so they must have some hard evidence or something. Proving intent is pretty tough, as is proving what someone knows and when. it's why libel and slander are so hard to prosecute too... because you have to prove someone does it with malicious intent.

Having a stock go down after a product release isn't uncommon either. Apple had it's high right before the iPhone 5 came out. Then they dropped like a stone after that release. and you want to know what's really creepy? EA went from 28 down to about 23, that's a drop of 17.85714% In Oct 2012 Apple went from 700 down to around 475, which is also a drop of 17.85714%. Exactly the same. There's a crazy coincidence.

True. It probably wouldnt be hard finding an anonymous digruntled employee to give some form of info to a law firm though.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

This tactic would have allowed individuals to sell their shares at a high price, anticipating their inevitable plummet, in which they would then be able to "re-purchase" their shares after making a quick profit.
Did that actually happen? If not, then I don't see where the suit has grounds to stand.

It's about like someone who has planned out a murder, and worked with others to arrange for it to happen. Even if they get caught, or it didn't happen, they still are guilty of conspiring to kill someone...

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

This tactic would have allowed individuals to sell their shares at a high price, anticipating their inevitable plummet, in which they would then be able to "re-purchase" their shares after making a quick profit.
Did that actually happen? If not, then I don't see where the suit has grounds to stand.

Im pretty sure the intent to do it without doing it is outlined somewhere in the Securities Exchange Act. So even if they havent actually done it, they had a premeditated it and planned to do it. So theyre being tried on premeditating it not actually doing it.

Thinking about being dishonest is a crime? I'm in a heap of trouble then.

This stuff is terribly hard to prosecute, so they must have some hard evidence or something. Proving intent is pretty tough, as is proving what someone knows and when. it's why libel and slander are so hard to prosecute too... because you have to prove someone does it with malicious intent.

Having a stock go down after a product release isn't uncommon either. Apple had it's high right before the iPhone 5 came out. Then they dropped like a stone after that release. and you want to know what's really creepy? EA went from 28 down to about 23, that's a drop of 17.85714% In Oct 2012 Apple went from 700 down to around 475, which is also a drop of 17.85714%. Exactly the same. There's a crazy coincidence.

Hate to be "that guy" but... I think your math is a little off. EA dropped 17.85714%. Apple dropped much more, to 62.85714% of their initial value, which was a drop of 32.14286%, according to the numbers you showed there...

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

I know for a fact DICE did lie about the state of the game before it was released. I posted one such video on this site already...

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

This tactic would have allowed individuals to sell their shares at a high price, anticipating their inevitable plummet, in which they would then be able to "re-purchase" their shares after making a quick profit.
Did that actually happen? If not, then I don't see where the suit has grounds to stand.

Im pretty sure the intent to do it without doing it is outlined somewhere in the Securities Exchange Act. So even if they havent actually done it, they had a premeditated it and planned to do it. So theyre being tried on premeditating it not actually doing it.

Thinking about being dishonest is a crime? I'm in a heap of trouble then.

This stuff is terribly hard to prosecute, so they must have some hard evidence or something. Proving intent is pretty tough, as is proving what someone knows and when. it's why libel and slander are so hard to prosecute too... because you have to prove someone does it with malicious intent.

Having a stock go down after a product release isn't uncommon either. Apple had it's high right before the iPhone 5 came out. Then they dropped like a stone after that release. and you want to know what's really creepy? EA went from 28 down to about 23, that's a drop of 17.85714% In Oct 2012 Apple went from 700 down to around 475, which is also a drop of 17.85714%. Exactly the same. There's a crazy coincidence.

(28-23)/28 = 5/28 = 17.xxx%

(700-475)/700 = 225/700 = 32.14%

Littleczr Littleczr said:

They should sue them for overpricing their games.

1 person liked this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

They should sue them for overpricing their games.
Seriously!!

As much as I might agree with you on the price. How could you even think, a lawsuit could be made over the price of non-essentials. There are so many other things, I would be creating a lawsuit for first.

If a company wants to price their non-essential products out the roof, we have a choice. We can purchase or leave it alone.

MilwaukeeMike said:

(28-23)/28 = 5/28 = 17.xxx%

(700-475)/700 = 225/700 = 32.14%

True that... I shouldn't do 700-475 in my head. I came out with 125, and 125/700 is 17.xxx% my bad.

EClyde EClyde said:

What's to complain about? You bought it and you know EA. Your fault.

jester376 said:

Seriously!!

As much as I might agree with you on the price. How could you even think, a lawsuit could be made over the price of non-essentials. There are so many other things, I would be creating a lawsuit for first.

If a company wants to price their non-essential products out the roof, we have a choice. We can purchase or leave it alone.

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

What's to complain about? You bought it and you know EA. Your fault.

Because there are consumer protections and penalties for vendors for faulty goods in physical goods. Why not software?

The game went release on 29th Oct. It has been almost 2 months and there are still widespread crashing on the game. I would call what it is now a helluva lot more acceptable than release. At release at times it was unplayable and they should be punitively punished for releasing that to the public in exchange for money.

If they want to go a crowd-source funding model then label the game a beta and don't misrepresent it as a AAA title with release quality.

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