Activision Blizzard Inc. CEO Bobby Kotick walks the field after the morning session at the Allen & Co. conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, U.S., Thursday, July 13, 2017.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Bobby Kotick, CEO of video game maker Activision, has another secret society he used to donate big bucks to Republican campaigns.
The company, Norgate LLC, contributed $500,000 through two separate checks to the Senate Leadership Fund during the 2020 election cycle, according to Federal Election Commission documents reviewed by CNBC. This political action committee is led by allies of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and was created to support Republicans running for the Senate.
CNBC had reported on Tuesday about another Kotick secret company, called 807080A LLC, which had made large donations to Republican causes.
On one of its two FEC filings, Norgate lists a California address identical to 807080A LLC. The latter company has contributed at least $100,000 to funding Republican efforts, including a super PAC supporting former Bridgewater CEO Dave McCormick, who is running for the Pennsylvania Senate seat in a GOP primary.
The second Norgate FEC record shows an address about a minute’s walk from the other location, according to Google Maps.
CNBC first reported on 807080A and their donation to the pro-McCormick outside group. Both private companies have identical addresses to two of Kotick’s foundations. The contribution to the Senate Leadership Fund marks the largest known donation the Activision CEO has made to a political organization.
Donors often use LLCs to conceal their identities and avoid scrutiny as they fund their preferred election candidates. Real estate manager Stephen Rosenberg has used a shell company to back President Donald Trump after years of backing Democrats.
While Democrats won a slight advantage in the Senate in the 2020 election, Republicans fended off many challengers across the country. The Senate Leadership Fund this cycle has spent more than $270 million against Democrats running for Senate seats this cycle, according to data from the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. Outside of Democratic wins in Georgia, data shows the super PAC helped Republicans win in North Carolina, Iowa, Montana, and South Carolina, among others.
Watchdog Campaign Legal Center reported Norgate’s donations to CNBC. The group said its researchers have confirmed that the personal mailbox “PMB K”, which appears on one of the documents filed by Norgate FEC, corresponds to a unique record called “personal mailbox K”. The watchdog said its research showed the names of a Kotick foundation, Norgate and Kotick itself, were recorded in that mailbox.
Mark Herr, a spokesperson for Kotick, told CNBC in an emailed statement Thursday that the video game executive has donated nearly the same amount to Democrats and Republicans over the past five years. He also highlighted the work of a foundation led by Kotick. The statement does not provide further details about Norgate LLC.
“Over the past five years, Mr. Kotick has donated roughly the same amount to Democrats and Republicans. His contributions focus on candidates and causes primarily in support of veterans issues and in particular employment veterans,” Herr said. “His giving and that of the Call of Duty Foundation, which he co-chairs, is intended to ensure that all veterans have employment opportunities that reflect the sacrifices they make as part of their service.”
This representative previously told CNBC that 807080A LLC was used to manage some of Kotick’s investments. Although Kotick gave to both major political parties, records show his biggest individual checks went mostly to Republicans.
Kotick and Activision have been in the spotlight for the past few months.
Microsoft announced in January that it agreed to buy Activision in a deal worth more than $68 billion. Microsoft announced its intention to close the deal in fiscal year 2023.
Activision has also been the subject of numerous reports detailing accusations of sexual misconduct.
the the wall street journal reported that Kotick was aware of the allegations and sometimes failed to inform the company’s board. An Activision Blizzard spokeswoman said at the time that Kotick “would not have been made aware of every report of misconduct across all Activision Blizzard companies, nor would he have been reasonably expected to have informed of all personnel issues”.