After seven months of persuasion and offers, Electronic Arts says it’s finally walking away from its pursuit of Take-Two Interactive. Take-Two had rejected EA’s $2 billion as inadequate, but an announcement last month of a confidentiality pact between the two companies suggested they might eventually reach a deal.
EA officials said they were moving on in part because the deal was losing its luster and value over time. Certainly, with blockbuster titles such as Madden NFL 09 and Spore it’s not like the company “needs” Take-Two, but a deal would have turned out to be of huge value for both companies and their investors.
Take-Two chairman Strauss Zelnick said their focus remains to please customers and stockholders, though I doubt the latter will be pleased with news that Take-Two stocks have plummeted down $6.44, or 29.4%, to $15.45. All in all, EA’s retreat may be temporary, as it’s now too late for a takeover to be completed in time for the profitable holiday season. But I wouldn’t be surprised to see a renewed offer sometime next year as EA tries to solidify its position as the world’s largest independent video game publisher.