This excerpt taken from the ATVI DEF 14A filed Apr 22, 2009.
Selection of Auditors
Our Audit Committee has engaged PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP to be our independent registered public accounting firm for the current fiscal year ending December 31, 2009. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP audited our financial statements for the period ended December 31, 2008.
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP audited the financial statements of Activision, Inc. for its fiscal years ended March 31, 2008, 2007 and 2006 and Ernst & Young LLP audited the financial statements of Vivendi Games for its fiscal years ended December 31, 2007 and 2006. The Combination was treated as a reverse acquisition for accounting purposes and as such, the historical financial statements of the accounting acquirer, Vivendi Games, have become Activision Blizzard's historical financial statements. The SEC has released guidance that, unless the same accountant reported on the most recent financial statements of both the accounting acquirer and the acquired company, a reverse acquisition results in a change of accountants. Upon the consummation of the Combination, the Audit Committee chose to dismiss Ernst & Young LLP, the independent auditors that were previously engaged to audit the financial statements of Vivendi Games, and engaged PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP to be the independent registered public accounting firm for Activision Blizzard for the period ended December 31, 2008, resulting in a change of accountants for Activision Blizzard.
During Vivendi Games' fiscal years ended December 31, 2007 and 2006, and during the subsequent interim period through July 9, 2008, neither we nor Vivendi Games consulted with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in regards to Vivendi Games' financial statements, which were audited by Ernst & Young LLP, with respect to any of (1) the application of accounting principles to a specified transaction, either completed or proposed; (2) the type of audit opinion that was rendered on the Vivendi Games' financial statements or the type of audit opinion that might be rendered on our financial statements; or (3) any matter that was either the subject of a disagreement (as defined in Item 304(a)(1)(iv) of Regulation S-K) or a reportable event of the type described in Item 304(a)(1)(v) of Regulation S-K.
No report issued by Ernst & Young LLP on the financial statements of Vivendi Games for its fiscal years ended December 31, 2007 or 2006 contained an adverse opinion or disclaimer of opinion, or qualification or modification as to uncertainty, audit scope, or accounting principles. In addition, during Vivendi Games' fiscal years ended December 31, 2007 and 2006 and through the date on which Ernst & Young LLP was dismissed, there were no disagreements with Ernst & Young LLP on any matter of accounting principles or practices, financial statement disclosure or auditing scope or procedure, which disagreement(s), if not resolved to the satisfaction of Ernst & Young LLP, would have caused it to make reference to the subject matter of the disagreement(s) in connection with its report.
Except as described below, there were no reportable events under Item 304(a)(1)(v) of Regulation S-K that occurred during Vivendi Games' fiscal years ended December 31, 2007 and 2006 and during the subsequent interim period through July 9, 2008.
During its fiscal years ended December 31, 2007 and 2006, Vivendi Games was a wholly owned subsidiary of Vivendi. As a wholly owned subsidiary operating as a business unit within the Vivendi group, Vivendi Games had not historically prepared financial statements for separate stand-alone purposes, had its taxable income processed within the Vivendi U.S. tax returns and did not maintain an external financial reporting group or a tax group. Internal controls have proven to be adequate to comply with Vivendi's internal reporting requirements under International Financial Reporting Standards. The U.S. GAAP stand-alone financial statements of Vivendi Games for its fiscal years ended December 31, 2007 and 2006 were prepared for the purpose of inclusion in our proxy statement relating to the Combination and were issued after the announcement of the transaction.
Management of Vivendi Games has discussed the material weaknesses described below with Ernst & Young LLP, and management of Vivendi Games and Vivendi have authorized Ernst & Young LLP to respond fully to the inquiries of a successor auditor concerning the subject matter below. Ernst & Young LLP considered the material weaknesses in determining the nature, timing and extent of their audit procedures performed on the 2007 and 2006 financial statements of Vivendi Games.
In connection with Ernst & Young LLP's audit of the financial statements of Vivendi Games for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2007 and 2006, Ernst & Young LLP advised Vivendi Games that it believed the following matters constituted material weaknesses as it related to those stand-alone financial statements: In connection with the preparation of its financial statements, on a stand-alone U.S. GAAP basis, for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2007 and 2006, Vivendi Games management did not detect certain errors in the preparation, classification and disclosure of those financial statements; additionally, Vivendi Games management did not detect certain errors in the stand-alone tax provision and related tax disclosures in the financial statements for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2007. These errors were detected by Ernst & Young LLP during the audit process and required certain modifications to the financial statements and related disclosures prior to their issuance. These modifications were made prior to the delivery of these financial statements by Vivendi Games management to us.
We provided Ernst & Young LLP with a copy of the foregoing disclosure as contained in Item 4.01 of our Current Report on Form 8-K/A filed with the SEC on July 28, 2008 and requested that Ernst & Young LLP furnish a letter addressed to the SEC stating whether it agreed with the statements made by us included in such disclosure. A copy of such letter, dated July 28, 2008, is filed as Exhibit 16.1 to that Current Report on Form 8-K/A.