A Fool Looks Back

EA is a runaway groom
What if you threw a wedding and nobody came? That's becoming the embarrassing reality for Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS  ) in its quest to acquire rival video game maker Take-Two Interactive (Nasdaq: TTWO  ) .

EA's latest tender offer to buy the Grand Theft Auto IV software hotshot expired on Monday, so what did EA do? It repeated the offer. Again.

For those scoring at home, this is the third time that EA has seen its tender offer (agreeing to snap up shares of Take-Two at $25.74 a share) expire sorely undersubscribed.

It gets worse with every passing month. EA had 6.4 million shares -- or less than 8% of the outstanding shares -- submitted during the first tender. EA now has just 6.1 million shares on board.

It's easy to see why Take-Two investors are holding out for more. Their company has beaten analyst estimates, has upped its guidance, and now has the fastest-selling game of all time. All of this has happened since EA's original buyout bid.

EA needs to step up and either raise its bid, dare Take-Two to seek out a better deal elsewhere, or just walk away. Anything else is just delusional.

Speaking of which, EA is actually negotiating with regulators to approve a deal that doesn't exist. That's like bartering with the justice of the peace, even though the bride isn't coming and the pews are empty.

Briefly in the news
And now let's take a quick look at some of the other stories that shaped our week.

  • Mozilla Foundation's Firefox 3 Web browser was launched with a bang on Tuesday. The free Internet surfing program was downloaded more than 8.3 million times during its first 24 hours of availability. Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) Internet Explorer will continue to be the top dog for some time, though it has to wonder about its vulnerability if a rival's new product can go from 0% to 4% of the market in a single day.
  • In a case of the rich getting richer, Sohu.com (Nasdaq: SOHU  ) teamed up with CCTV.com to offer live webcasting and on-demand streaming in China of this summer's Olympic Games in Beijing. Sohu is already the official online reporter of the event.
  • Shares of satellite-radio providers XM (Nasdaq: XMSR  ) and Sirius (Nasdaq: SIRI  ) can't catch a break. The stocks were slammed on Thursday, after a bearish Goldman Sachs analyst slashed his near-term price targets on the two companies. Even with the FCC finally apparently on board, satellite radio has become the Rodney Dangerfield of broadcasting.

Until next week, I remain,

Rick Munarriz


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