Now that the Federal Trade Commission has opted not to place any regulatory hurdles in the way of a potential EA-T2 merger, the two publishers will begin meeting behind closed doors.
An filing made by Electronic Arts with the Securities & Exchange Commission late yesterday reads in part:
On August 25, 2008, [EA] and [T2] entered into the confidentiality agreement contemplated by the letter of August 17, 2008 from Strauss Zelnick, Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of Take-Two to John Riccitiello, Chief Executive Officer of EA, and the letter of August 18 from Mr. Riccitiello to Mr. Zelnick.
The terms of the confidentiality agreement prohibit each of EA and Take-Two from, among other things, publicly disclosing the status or terms of any discussions or negotiations between EA and Take-Two unless EA or Take-Two notifies the other that it is terminating discussions. As a result, EA does not intend to make any further announcements regarding the status of any discussions or negotiations with Take-Two unless and until discussions between EA and Take-Two have been terminated or such parties have entered into a transaction. As previously disclosed, EA now requires due diligence to support any proposal to acquire Take-Two and there can be no assurance that any proposal, negotiations or transaction will result.
Among other things, EA will be looking at T2's three-year game release schedule. Not a tough one to figure out: GTA V, Bioshock 2. A GTA MMO would be a nice surprise...