Apple Is Reportedly the Front Runner to Purchase EA; Disney, Amazon Also In Talks

Electronic Arts (EA) is on the hunt for a potential buyer or merger, and contenders for the acquisition include Disney, Amazon and the current frontrunner, Apple.

According to 9to5Mac, EA Games, the publisher of major hits such as The Sims franchise and Apex Legends, began seeking a potential buyout or merger following Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard in January of this year and Sony’s subsequent purchase of Bungie later that same month. Apparently, EA seeks a merger rather than a full buyout, as it hopes to retain its current CEO, Andrew Wilson, in the same position. So far, Disney, Amazon and Apple have circled the deal, with the latter reportedly in talks with EA.

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So far, EA has yet to comment on the reports, with EA spokesperson John Reseburg stating the company would not comment on “rumors and speculation relating to M&A.” He added, “We are proud to be operating from a position of strength and growth, with a portfolio of amazing games, built around powerful IP, made by incredibly talented teams, and a network of more than half a billion players. We see a very bright future ahead.”

Apple would make a natural choice for EA Games, as the publisher’s roots begin at the company. Former Director of Strategy and Marketing at Apple, Trip Hawkins, left the company in 1982 to start EA Games. Besides its potential purchase or merger with EA, Apple launched its own gaming service in 2019, Apple Arcade, which lets users play ad-free games on iOS, macOS and tvOS devices.

RELATED: What Does Sony’s Bungie Acquisition Mean for the Future of Gaming?

To complicate matters, buyouts and mergers have been under scrutiny by the US government in recent months. Even if both parties agree to the possible deal, the US and other have to approve the sale or merger, and President Joe Biden’s antitrust enforcers leave many doubting similar deals will get approval. For instance, Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard currently holds a low certainty of success among Wall Street insiders for the same reason, also because of the need for approval by the Federal Trade Commission, led by Lina Khan. Khan has expressed a need for more oversight of such tech deals and has blocked the approval of several similar sales during her tenure.

Along with EA, Apple has yet to comment on the current rumors or speculation.

Source: 9to5Mac

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