Officials from Take-Two Interactive have confirmed that the company has received a Wells notice from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which indicates that the commission may file charges against Take-Two over its past stock option practices.
The SEC began a formal investigation into Take-Two’s stock option grant practices
earlier in the year, following an informal, non-public, investigation and Take-Two’s own internal inquiry – both of which reported irregularities.
The Wells notice from SEC investigators indicates that they are seeking authority from the commission to file charges and pursue a civil monetary penalty. The Wells notice also provides Take-Two with an opportunity to petition against the SEC filing charges.
As reported by Reuters
, Take-Two officials have indicated that the company hopes to "resolve this investigation by means of a settlement rather than a contested litigation of charges ... the 'Wells' call represents a significant step forward towards that resolution."
Many other publishers, and hundreds of other companies unrelated to the games industry, have also been investigated by the SEC, including Electronic Arts, Activision and THQ. None have endured a formal investigation or been served a Wells notice.