FTC Okays EA-T2 Merger

The Federal Trade Commission has posted letters on its website which indicate that it will not oppose a proposed merger between Electronic Arts and Take-Two Interactive.

The letters, written in government bureaucrat-speak, are dated August 18th and read as follows:

The Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Competition has conducted a non-public investigation to determine whether the acquisition by Electronic Arts Inc. of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. may violate Section 7 of the Clayton Act or Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act.


Upon further review of this matter, it now appears that no additional action by the Commission is warranted at this time. Accordingly, the investigation has been closed. This action is not to be construed as a determination that a violation may not have occurred, just as the pendency of an investigation should not be construed as a determination that a violation has occurred. The Commission reserves the right to take further action as the public interest may require.

With the FTC hurdle apparently out of the way, EA and Take-Two are free to attempt to reach agreement on a takeover.

Via: Reuters

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  1. Anonymous, Attorney and Counselor at Law says:

    That’d make some sense because of Steam.  It’s a good way for EA to get revenue from PC distribution, as that’s where the company’s going to be the most challenged by small developers.  Current-gen consoles are too expensive for the little guys.  That said, Valve’s private.  T2’s public.  Totally different ballgame on the takeover.  Who owns Valve, anyways?  G. Newell, obviously, but who backed them as a startup?

  2. Anonymous, Attorney and Counselor at Law says:

    In re: your fruit basket.

    Funny story time.  The last Hart-Scott-Rodino filing I made needed to be in on x day (due to the 30 day wait period) even though we were absolutely sure that it would get accepted, as there were no realistic antitrust issues.  The client refused to do electronic filing.  So of course the day before I do the frantic running around with a paralegal to make FedEx and ended up making it to Kinko’s just as the truck is being loaded.  I blocked the truck in with my car, walked in with the duplicate boxes for the FTC and the DOJ, and explained that they needed to go out.  The FedEx guy was very understanding, especially when he realized that he wasn’t leaving until I was and I wasn’t leaving until those boxes were on his truck.  The next day a paralegal calls the FTC to make sure that the boxes were delivered, as our filing date is determined by delivery.  She’s told by a random FTC/DOJ (can’t remember which agency it was) flack, "oh, no, it won’t be delivered for a couple of days.  Anthrax, you know."  Paralegal: "What.  The.  Hell?"  Radom FTC/DOJ flack: "Yes, we have to scan all our mail for anthrax.  The scanner is pretty slow.  It breaks down a lot too.  We’ll have your package in a few days."

    It all worked out and we got early termination as anticipated, but I can’t begin to tell you the yelling and screaming that ensued from partners’ offices when that news broke.  I think those packages spent at least three extra days in anthrax scanner hell, as, y’know, every anthrax bomber’s first target is the antitrust division of the DOJ and the HSR compliance office of the FTC.

    tl;dr: your fruit basket would have spoiled long before it ended up on anyone’s desk.  Just as well you didn’t send it.

    PS: the part of the FTC that’s dealing with net neutrality has absolutely nothing to do with the part of the FTC that reviews Hart-Scott-Rodino filings.

    PPS: the FTC is excellent for keeping legions of young attorneys employed.  Otherwise we’d all, I dunno, read GamePolitics all day or something.

  3. Mr.Tastix says:

    Don’t worry guys, it’s just another case of developer gets big, EA storms in and demands they sell out, developer sells out, EA is happy. Gamers cry in pain, EA destroys gaming industry, the developers who sold out only then realise their terrible terrible mistake. Then hopefully after all that the developers shall crush EA with an iron hand.

    We may have to endure a few years of shit gaming but if EA is crushed under it’s own weight then I won’t be sorry for it. DOWN WITH EA’S SHITTY GAMES AND CRAP MANAGEMENT.

    — Joshua Smellie

  4. Aliasalpha says:

    Look on the bright side of that possible merger, your Sims could have a pet headcrab & rearrange their furniture with a gravity gun

  5. Anthrax says:

    As do I. They were a good company.

    I’ve heard they’re looking at Valve next. Prepare yourself for Half-life 56, super-re-release edition.

  6. Felix says:

    EA is the nameless, faceless maw that’s eating everything that’s good in gaming…anyone remember Westwood Studios?

  7. Anonymous ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Legally, virtually nothing has changed. EA and T2 still have to agree on terms for the merger.

  8. shaoron says:

    in the words of Dracula and Vader….


    This cannot be! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooooooooooo………!

  9. Cheater87 says:

    Looks like I’ll be picking up Saints Row games instead of a censored GTA. 🙁 Also I hope Manhunt 3 does not have a Thrill Kill pulled on it. :'( 

  10. Sai says:

    Fuck. I’d rather not have EA monopolize all of gaming, which they seem to be out to do… but this might not actually hurt anything other than the sports genre, which I care about just as much as I care about say, watching paint dry.

  11. Icehawk says:

    This was already expected and fortold.  The FTC for all thier pomp and glory can only say yea or nay to the deal.  They cannot cause it to happen or even legally incourage it.  As it stands littleto nothing has changed.  T2 can still tell EA to take a flying leap. 

    Sadly though it is looking as if they will give in, as their stock values have dropped of late and the stock holders want their income. 

  12. Generic Enemy Number 12 says:

    I still don’t think Take Two will be bought out by EA.  If this was going to happen then it would have happened a long time ago.

  13. Anonymous, Attorney and Counselor at Law says:

    Eeenteresting.  I guess I’m eating crow on this one.  Mmm, crow.  I was really hoping this would turn into something more fun than a no-action letter, too.  Now it’s down to the business types, who will no doubt soon announce something along the lines of the following: "T2 and EA have negotiated an agreement that will enable management synergies to continue to increase shareholder value by ushering in new paradigms of consumer interactive entertainment."

  14. Foly Creaking Dow Hung ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Great job FTC, great job screwing over an industry, and being a waste of our M0743R F2$king tax dollars.  Why in the hell does this branch of the government even exist when it does absolutely nothing for the people?  I said it before this mess, and I am saying it now.  The FTC is corrupt, does nothing, and shouldn’t exist.

    freat Gucking job protecting the people from a monopoly hss aoles.  How about we let Sprint and AT&T merge next?  Then after that EA and Activision, Sony Nintendo Microsoft and Apple, GeForce and ATI, and crap, while we are at it, lets just get rid of the boarder between US, Mexico, and Canada just to make the fother mucking Federal Reserve System Bank happy as well.  Switch the the Amero, then create more war and debt for the people to pay off because the government is so stupid they will go for anything they know they can profit off of.


    /Zeitgeist Video Blurb

    /T2 and the titles they created that were actually worth a damn


    function activate(){

    Fake EA domanance by buying out other companies so they can keep showing profit.


  15. Eville1NSI ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I keep repeating myself with this one but please come up with an example about how they would emasculate it? The ONLY WAY I see EA toning down GTA would be the social commentary. Certainly not the violence. EA has made just as many violent games as anyone else. They might cut down on some of the chatter on the radio and the like but not much else.


    This is not to say I approve of any merger or even like EA. I am just constantly surprised at blanket statements with no example to back it up.

  16. chadachada(123) says:

    I know, and I was looking forward to Bioshock 2. Now I bet it’ll have lots of plasmids that I have to pay for or something.

  17. Father Time says:

    So what exactly is the FTC good for again?

    Well you bastards don’t get a fruit basket now (and I was really going to send them one if they blocked the merger).

    I wonder can we really trust these guys with net neutrality? I’m afraid of letting the FCC get it’s hands on the internet.

  18. EeLos says:

    I love sports.  As far as I’m concerned, nothing in this country makes more noise yearly than sports.  And sports video games are a great complement to that.  And the fuckin FTC just gave the ok to a company that has said more than once that they want a unified game console so as to do away with the console wars.  This is a company that absolutely HATES competition.  If they could figure out a legal way to make themselves the only developer/publisher in the industry, they’d do it.  Competition brings out the best in anyone who’s willing to step up and accept it, and EA isn’t that type of company.  They’d rather buy out their competition, slap their label on whatever that developer makes, collect the check and blame them for the bugs when EA is the one who’ll rush the product out the door months before it’s ready.  I used to love EA, and I’ve always said (and still do) that when they’re hungry for a number one spot they can show some of the best quality in the buisness and SKATE is my proof of that.  So why the lack in the football area when that’s where damn near all of your fan rest??  They’re fuckin lazy and afraid of T2 because they’re more creative then they are, and I’m telling you guys watch out for Backbreaker, if that game turns out to be really good I promise you that EA will start fuckin with them too.

  19. Saladin ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    That’s acceptable news! I sincerely hope Take-Two says no, or at least throws a figure at EA that’s too much even for them.

  20. Krono says:

    They haven’t. This is just the FTC saying it’s found no cause to outright block any merger. EA still has to find a price and terms that Take Two will find acceptable.


  21. chadachada(123) says:

    Well, this is complete and utter bullshit. I really hope T2 doesn’t give in and sell out…

Comments are closed.