FTC: EA's Take-Two Buyout Bid "In Compliance"
In what would be one of the biggest moves in the industry's history, Electronic Arts continues its purchase pursuit of Take-Two Interactive and its multi-million dollar Grand Theft Auto franchise, and they took another step today. According to GameSpot, thanks to a filing this morning with the Securities and Exchange Commission, EA has revealed that they are "in substantial compliance" with the FTC's previous information requests. The FTC wanted to make sure that this potential buyout didn't violate US antitrust laws; remember that EA's only major rival in the sports realm - 2K Sports - would be absorbed by EA if this happens. The largest game publisher in the world already holds exclusive licensing rights from the NFL, NCAA and FIFA, and erasing 2K Sports means there's nothing left to stand in EA's way.
But the FTC sees no problem and is satisfied with the information they've acquired from EA, which means EA's $2 billion bid for Take-Two stays put, and will continue to stick beyond the July 18 deadline. They say no more action will be taken until August 21, and as of now, the $25.74/share offer would indeed make the shareholders money, as Take-Two shares are currently trading at $24.26. However, Take-Two has continued to reject EA's advances, and with GTAIV rocking the sales numbers, they may believe they're simply better off on their own. Then again, the lure of huge money could be too much in late August...
7/8/2008 Ben Dutka