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SeaWorld says DOJ probe into 'Blackfish' statements is over

Key Points
  • SeaWorld Entertainment says it has been notified that the U.S. Department of Justice is ending its probe into whether company officials misled investors about the negative impact the documentary "Blackfish" was having on its business.
  • In September, SeaWorld and two former executives agreed to pay more than $5 million to settle federal fraud claims brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission alleging they had made misleading statements about the documentary's impact.
Killer whale 'Tilikum' (back) appears during a performance in its show 'Believe' at Sea World on March 30, 2011 in Orlando, Florida.
Gerardo Mora | Getty Images

SeaWorld Entertainment says it has been notified that the U.S. Department of Justice is ending its probe into whether company officials misled investors about the negative impact the documentary "Blackfish" was having on its business.

In September, SeaWorld and two former executives agreed to pay more than $5 million to settle federal fraud claims brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission alleging they had made misleading statements about the documentary's impact.

The Orlando-based theme park company said Wednesday in a SEC filing that Justice Department has now notified the company that it won't take any action.

Attendance and revenue declined after the release of the 2013 documentary about the life of Tilikum, an orca that killed a SeaWorld trainer during a performance in Orlando in 2010.

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Key Points
  • New attractions in several of SeaWorld's theme parks have driven up attendance in the past several months.
  • Attendance increased 4.8 percent to 6.4 million visitors from the year-ago quarter.
  • Attendance has suffered since the company's treatment of animals and related deaths of trainers was called into question in the 2013 documentary "Blackfish."