Following the completion of Activision’s $19 billion merger with Vivendi Games/Blizzard, analysts have speculated that the new company may become involved in Electronic Arts’ hostile takeover of Take-Two Interactive.
“We absolutely believe Activision will take a look at Take-Two,” said Janco Partners analyst Mike Hickey in comments to financial website TheDeal.com
. “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?"
However, in Hickey’s opinion the chances of Activision Blizzard making a formal offer for Take-Two Interactive are “slim”. He suggested that Take-Two Interactive’s portfolio was a better match for Electronic Arts, who would therefore also be able to make the most cost savings from any takeover or merger.
In the same article Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter suggested that, "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.”
Although Electronic Arts remains the firm favorite to win the takeover battle most analysts agree that the company will have to raised its current offer. Recently the company revealed that it was in “substantial compliance” with a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) request for information concerning its takeover attempts.
However, the investigation will mean that no takeover can occur before August 21st, 2008
. The current deadline for Take-Two Interactive shareholders to accept the deal is July 18th, although Electronic Arts has already indicated its willingness to extend this date for a sixth time.