FTC clears EA's bid for Take-Two, talks continue

The FTC has given EA the go-ahead to purchase the smaller rival, and EA has indicated that it had shifted strategies away from a hostile bid to more friendly talks.

US Federal Trade Commission approval of the deal had been something that was eluding EA for several months now. Along the way, the agency had extended its own deadline to approve the merger, most recently in early July until this Thursday.

In a letter sent to both companies, the agency said "that no additional action by the Commission is warranted at this time," which signals the go-ahead for the two companies to complete any possible merger.

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Around the same time the FTC's decision was announced, EA indicated that it had shifted strategies in its attempts to acquire the company.

While Take-Two had initially pushed back heavily -- even despite calls from its own shareholders -- EA had originally decided to pursue a hostile bid. But apparently, whatever presentation the smaller game maker made to EA's board must have caught the eye of executives.

The original $25.74 per share bid was allowed to expire on August 18. However, EA indicates "confidential" discussions are now underway, meaning a new deal or proposal could be announced at any time.

"Our Board remains unwavering in its belief that EA's unsolicited conditional tender offer of $25.74 per share was inadequate and undervalued Take-Two's world-class entertainment franchises and our strong operational and financial performance," chairman Strauss Zelnick has said.

EA's response to BetaNews' inquiry is pending.

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