GamePolitics readers may recall that Electronic Arts’ latest tender offer for outstanding Take-Two shares expires today.
Will EA extend its deadline? Raise its offer price? Drop out?
An extension seems likely, given that the Federal Trade Commission has not completed an evaluation of whether an EA takeover of T2 would have antitrust implications. As we’ve reported, Take-Two is dragging its heels on that process, and an annoyed FTC is dragging T2 into court over the matter next week. And, of course, EA has placed the acquisition on hold, pending the FTC’s findings.
Over at Level Up, Newsweek’s N’Gai Croal has insightful analysis from former FTC attorney Justin Blankenship on the government agency’s current dust-up with Take-Two.
Meanwhile, Forbes speculates that EA wants to close the deal ASAP in order to lock down Rockstar’s Sam and Dan Houser before their contract with T2 expires next February:
Once that contract expires in 2009, the Housers will hit the open market. Despite the high price their services will command (mostly in the form of extensive royalties), game publishers may well enter into a heated bidding war for the Houser brothers in the hopes of seizing the next Grand Theft Auto phenomenon.
If Electronic Arts wants the minds behind Grand Theft Auto, it’s going to have to move quickly. To gain the upper hand, Electronic Arts may be forced to pull the trigger and raise its $25.74 per share bid to around $30 per share–a move most analysts believe essential if Electronic Arts is serious about the Take-Two acquisition. Control of Take-Two would grant EA the rights to the Grand Theft Auto series, which the Redwood City-based publisher could then use to sweeten negotiations with the Housers. Otherwise, there’s nothing stopping the brothers from setting up a rival series at a new studio.