Not all of Take-Two's legal woes of late have been fueled by the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Hot Coffee scandal. Today, the company announced that it had received notice that it was the subject of an "informal non-public investigation" by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in regards to stock option grants the company has made dating back to the beginning of 1997.
This is not the first time the SEC has looked into Take-Two's business dealings. A 2001 SEC investigation into the publisher's accounting practices stretched into June of 2005, when Take-Two settled the dispute for $7.5 million.
In a terse statement, Take-Two announced that it had "initiated an internal review of the Company's option grants, led by a committee consisting of independent board members who have retained independent legal counsel and accountants to assist in the review."
Take-Two also said it would "fully cooperate in the [SEC's] informal investigation." However, said compliance did little to assuage nervous traders. As of press time, the publisher's share price was trading at $9.67, a 52-week low for the once-hot stock. In July 2005, Take-Two stock was valued at $28.16.