By Nathalie Voit

A California judge approved an $18 million settlement between video game giant Activision Blizzard and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), according to a press release from Activision published on March 29.

“The agreement we reached with the EEOC last year reflected our unwavering commitment to ensure a safe and equitable working environment for all employees,” said Activision CEO Bobby Kotick on Tuesday. “Our goal is to make Activision Blizzard a model for the industry, and we will continue to focus on eliminating harassment and discrimination from our workplace. The court’s approval of this settlement is an important step in ensuring that our employees have mechanisms for recourse if they experienced any form of harassment or retaliation.”

The agreement ended the years-long EEOC investigation into Activision Blizzard, which had become the target of severe sexual harassment and workplace discrimination allegations from its female employees.

However, the settlement was stalled when the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) sought to intervene over concerns that its own sexual discrimination lawsuit against the gaming company would be compromised.

The civil rights agency had filed a motion to intervene in the case but was denied by California District Judge Dale S. Fischer on March 29. The judge ruled that any approved claimants from the EEOC settlement must waive their rights to recoup funds or monetary relief from the DFEH suit.

The popular game franchise creator is also the subject of a separate U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) complaint over its handling of employees’ harassment and discrimination accusations. The company is complying with an SEC subpoena, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is still reviewing whether Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision will stand up to antitrust scrutiny from regulators. The FTC, led by Chairwoman Lina Khan, issued new M&A guidelines in January to give commissioners prior approval provision over proposed deals. Previously, the onus of proving whether a merger was anticompetitive laid on the federal agency, which had to initiate an investigation and go into court to block the deal.