After the Office of Fair Trading referred GAME's 74 million deal for bitter rival Gamestation to the Competition Commission, GameStop has re-emerged as a potential player in the UK.
It is a completed deal, so ultimately we can turn around and reverse the whole thing,” said Competition Commission spokesperson Rory Taylor.
It would mean that GAME would have to sell Gamestation lock, stock and barrel to a competing retailer.”
And GAME would have little choice but to accept if potential rival GameStop made a bid, added Taylor: The company handles the sale itself, but the buyer has to be approved by the Competition Commission as a viable competitor. If they don't find a buyer themselves, after a certain time an independent trustee can be appointed to carry out the sale for them.”
But while the 217-store deal could end up being scrapped, one major publisher boss told MCV that they would not support a fresh move into the UK by GameStop. I think the GAME deal should go through; it will bring stability to the industry, as Gamestation didn't have strong support from Blockbuster,” he told MCV.
Meanwhile a defiant GAME has told MCV that while it is disappointed with the decision, it still plans to forge ahead with its expansion plans for Europe and further afield.
We remain confident, and are not contemplating that the deal won't be cleared,” said a spokesperson. We have always been very clear about our international growth strategy, and this has not changed. We are focused on integrating our recent acquisitions, coupled with organic growth, in both Europe and Australia.”