EA postpones Take-Two takeover deadline

Madden publisher agrees not to advance with buyout offer until either FTC concludes regulatory investigation or 45-day lapse following "substantial compliance."

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Those on edge as to whether Electronic Arts will seal its near-$2 billion buyout of Take-Two Interactive will have to wait a bit longer. After Take-Two shareholders leveled a dispassionate gaze at Electronic Arts' hostile bid in May, the Madden publisher announced it would be once again extending its tender offer, saying it would maintain the $25.74-per-share bid until June 16.

The official reason for both the second and third extensions of EA's Take-Two takeover deal was to give the Federal Trade Commission more time to complete its investigation. It now appears as if EA and the FTC have reached an agreement that may create a firm deadline on when the publisher can wrap its hostile advance.

According to a recent Securities and Exchange Commission filing, EA and the FTC reached an agreement on June 3 wherein the regulatory body tweaked its request for additional information pertaining to the buyout. As part of the new arrangement, EA has agreed not to close in on Take-Two until the earlier of either the FTC concluding its investigation or the lapse of 45 days after EA provides "substantial compliance with [the FTC's request for additional information]."

With EA's current tender offer set to expire in two weeks, it's possible that the publisher will once again extend its offer to Take-Two investors as a result of the FTC investigation. Assuming EA provided said "substantial compliance" immediately as of June 3, and the regulatory body's investigation proves ongoing, the publisher would not be able to move forward with its acquisition until July 18 at the earliest.

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