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My Take On Take-Two And EA
CNBC.com | February 25, 2008 | 11:07 AM EST

So we've just learned that Electronic Arts made a $2 billion bid to take over Take-Two last Tuesday.EA went public with the news Sunday after Take Two's board denied the deal.

The notion of such a deal probably makes sports gamers cringe, much in the same way that trading card buffs feared Upper Deck's attempts at buying Topps last year. It's basically the same deal--lack of competition could lead to a more inferior product and higher prices.

Sports gamers are plenty familiar with an EA monopoly. They've had an exclusive on making an NFL-licensed game since 2005 and recently extended that deal through the 2012 season. For what it's worth, EA also has exclusive deals for FIFA, NASCAR, NCAA Football, Arena Football and the PGA Tour.

So when deals like this come close or are done, there's an immediate outcry. But, trust me, these fears are unfounded. Why?

Because, with the Nintendo Wii, the game has totally changed. Two years ago, if you were to tell me that EA was acquiring Take-Two, I would have told you that this was a virtual sports monopoly (remember Activision still has the Tony Hawk franchise) and that it was going to be bad for consumers. You see, because of the Wii, licensed properties will start to lose steam in coming years. It's not about having the players. It's about you BEING the player.

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