EA’s Take-Two Takeover Bid on Hold Pending Government Review

According to Reuters, Electronic Arts has reached an agreement with the Federal Trade Commission to delay its attempt to acquire Take-Two Interactive while FTC investigators address regulatory [i.e. – monopoly] issues.

What might the FTC be looking into? Newsweek’s N’Gai Croal covered this in great detail recently, including mention of my fears that consumers will suffer if EA is successful.

Cnet’s Daniel Terdiman wrote yesterday "that [EA is] losing its credibility with each new extension." Frankly, however, I can’t see Terdiman’s point. Credibility is a non-issue here. The dollars – and government regulatory clearance – will ultimately dictate whether this deal gets done.

Meanwhile, on his Anti-Tust Commentary blog, attorney Matthew Wild offers some legal insight into the EA’s strategy:

Under the agreement, EA must give the FTC 45 days’ notice of its intention to close.  Parties often grant the Antitrust Division and FTC more time to review their transactions with the hope of convincing the agencies not to challenge the merger or to allow them to negotiate a remedy.

The most important take-away here is that EA is obviously worried that the FTC may have some concerns about the deal. As a game consumer, it’s reassuring to know that regulators are taking a good look at the proposed merger.

As I’ve pointed out before, EA’s track record with the Madden franchise demonstrates that the game publisher is willing to lower prices when faced with serious competition. The Madden case also shows that EA will take agressive steps to eliminate its competition and, if successful, will raise prices in a non-competitive landscape.

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  1. 0
    Cafalump says:

    I’m glad to see some people are relising that with this takeover EA will be killing a brilliant company and will run it dry then toss the EA-molested left overs aside. EA have had names on some games such as Crysis and Hellgate: London, but unlike some uncivilised people (not refering to anyone here) I see past the big ‘EA’ logo that you can never skip and look at the REAL designers of the games such as ‘Flagship Studios’ and ‘Crytek’. Admittedly, I do enjoy C&C series, but I have a bad feeling that is going to go downhill soon. The sooner this deal is chucked into a hole and hid away from the world the better.




  2. 0
    OdinM1 says:

    Ugh…. After the whole DRM mess with Spore and Mass Effect (which I am still pissed off about to this day) EA can take a flying leap into a pit of rabid badgers. I’m just so bloody sick of EA destroying so many good companys. In otherwords, keep your dung stained hands off of Take-Two!

  3. 0
    Dark Sovereign says:

    It’s entirely possible that this may be the end of EA sports domination. They gotten to the point where very real damage to the consumer is occurring and competition is not steep enough between the two parties for them to pull a Coke-Pepsi deal.

  4. 0
    Gray-17 says:

    "Cnet’s Daniel Terdiman wrote yesterday "that [EA is] losing its credibility with each new extension." Frankly, however, I can’t see Terdiman’s point. Credibility is a non-issue here. The dollars – and government regulatory clearance – will ultimately dictate whether this deal gets done."

    I do, every time EA extends it’s offer after a deadline, it makes the next deadline much less credible. Thus shareholders won’t be in a rush to decide to sell, and are even more likely to hold out for a better offer.

    Basically EA said "Here’s our offer, take it or leave it, but it expires while you wait." They’ve keep showing that the "expires" part is false. Now people will be expecting the "take it or leave it" part to be false as well.

  5. 0
    DarknessDeku! ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    First, EA ends up buying every video game company, then they flop and go out of business, now we will have another video game crash of 1983.


    If EA buys T2, I will eat my hat.

  6. 0
    Papa Midnight says:

    "Indeed, we’ve been down this road before with EA, and it was a train wreck for gamers. Some Joystiq readers will recall the NFL 2K series from Visual Concepts. It was a very good pro football game franchise that originated on the Dreamcast but later migrated over to the PS2 and Xbox. Some reviewers actually came to prefer NFL 2K to EA’s Madden series. What’s more, Take Two, in a competitive effort to win market share in later years, priced it very aggressively ($19.99). Declining to go that low in price, EA was forced to reduce Madden to $29.99 just to stay competitive (there’s that word again).

    So what happened next? EA secured an exclusive license with the NFL and NFL Players Association. Quicker than a LaDainian Tomlinson sprint to the end zone, the NFL 2K series ceased to exist. The next edition of Madden, no longer facing competitive pressure from NFL 2K, jumped up in price to $49.99. EA’s revenues, of course, shot up. Gamers, however, had to plunk down twenty bucks more than the previous year and lost the opportunity to choose their pro football game based on a competitive comparison of features and price. You either played Madden – at EA’s price – or you went home."

    ’nuff said.
    Papa Midnight


  7. 0
    Aliasalpha says:

    I know I’m old but I’m sure I can’t be the only person here who remembers when EA used to be THE company when it came to top class creative boundary pushing games (Filled polygons on a C64? Barely anyone else used polygons at all and none of them were FILLED!). Nowdays they’re still determined to be THE company but only beccause there’s no alternative.

    It’s especially sad given their recent drop in quality output. They got where they are by making stuff that was so good everyone bought it (and this was in the days when piracy only needed a double tape deck) but now they seem to have turned their backs on creativity entirely. It’s a sad reversal, like a jedi turning to the dark side or the shop no longer stocking those biscuits you like

  8. 0
    Anonymous says:

    Compeition is good for consumers as it encourages lower prices and better products.

    It speaks volumes that instead of improving it’s product to make it more appealing they’re trying to eliminate competition so they can price their half assed product how they see fit. Someone doesn’t like it, they can say "You have no choice, haha!!!" which would likely actually hurt EA in the end.

    And honestly ,giving all this, if I were a Take Two stock holder, I’d have decided not ot sell long ago.


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