Apple reportedly held talks to acquire Electronic Arts

In recent years, Apple – along with Amazon, Disney, and others – held talks about acquiring Electronic Arts, Dylan Byers reports for Puck.

Apple Park in Cupertino, California
Apple Park in Cupertino, California

Dylan Byers for Puck:

For the last four years, What’s Brian Roberts going to buy has been a perennial parlor game question among the Sun Valley set. It all started in 2018, when the Comcast-NBCUniversal chief tried and failed to intercept Bob Iger‘s takeover of the Fox entertainment assets and settled for Sky, instead…

Back in January, after news of the Microsoft-Activision deal broke, I noted that Roberts had few good options left: ViacomCBS, with a market cap of $21 billion, was too small to deliver meaningful scale to NBCUniversal; and, regardless, any potential acquisition would have required a divestiture of overlapping assets like the CBS broadcast station. The other option, I wrote, was Electronic Arts, the formidable gaming company, which had a $40 billion market cap at the time that has since fallen to $36 billion. While not as big as Activision, the Redwood City-based company would have given NBCUniversal a significant stake in the gaming world…

As it turns out, Roberts saw this logic as well. In the wake of the Microsoft-Activision deal, Roberts approached Electronic Arts C.E.O. Andrew Wilson with a proposal to spin off NBCUniversal and merge the media and gaming giants, four sources with knowledge of the proposal told me… The proposal ultimately fell apart within the last month due to disagreements over price and structure…

In recent years, as media companies have taken greater interest in the rapidly-growing gaming industry, Wilson and Electronic Arts have held talks with a number of different potential suitors, including Disney, Apple and Amazon, sources with knowledge of those talks told me.

MacDailyNews Take: Well now, Apple acquiring Electronic Arts certainly would’ve injected a bit of instant giddy-up into Apple Arcade.

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[Attribution: MacRumors. Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


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