EA’s continued pursuit of Take Two still rumbles on, but Janco Partners analyst Mike Hickey told thedeal.com that it could well get even more complicated: “We absolutely believe Activision will take a look at Take-Two. If a competitor is for sale, you take a look, and if EA is your real rival, why wouldn't you stir the pot a little bit?”
But Hickey added that Activision would be reluctant to start a bidding war for Take-Two, adding that EA can extract greater cost savings from a deal and that it needs to make the acquisition from a competitive standpoint.
But fellow analyst Ben Schachter of UBS Securities told thedeal.com: “It is highly unlikely that Activision would try to outbid EA. They have enough on their plate at the moment.”
Take Two has previously stated that it would be interested in talking to other parties – but Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter maintains that EA remains the favourite to snap up the Rockstar parent company, though Activision could rock the boat by stating its interest.
"Activision could mess with EA and say they're interested, but nobody but EA can make money in sports, so it's worth more to them," he added.
"There are only three players involved — EA, the FTC and the arbs. Is EA likely to withdraw or lower their offer? No, because they want Take-Two. The odds of the FTC not approving the deal on market concentration is virtually zero. And if the arbs want to sell the stock, they'll sell the stock — they don't care what [EA chairman] Strauss Zelnick thinks the stock is worth."