Money won't be an obstacle in Electronic Arts' (NASDAQ:ERTS) pursuit of Take-Two Interactive (NASDAQ:TTWO). The company has lined up $1 billion in financing, which along with the more than $3 billion in greenery sitting on its balance sheet will be more than enough to cover the company's $2 billion offer for Take-Two.

So what?

This is a lot like having me say that I've scrounged together enough money to fly out to the New York Yankees' spring training camp next year. It doesn't mean I'll get on the field to swing a bat. It doesn't even mean I'll have a shot at making the team.

See, EA isn't getting Take-Two. Well, certainly not at the price that the world's leading video game company has been touting. Let's go over a few of the things that have happened to improve Take-Two's worth over just the past few trading days:

  • Grand Theft Auto IV broke the one-week sales record -- by a country mile -- for video games last week.
  • Take-Two's BioShock is about to be turned into a theatrical movie. Sure, for every multiplex hit, you have plenty of duds, but you have to like BioShock's chances. The film version's director is none other than Pirates of the Caribbean's Gore Verbinski, a fan of the game itself.

Even before the recent one-two punch, EA was having a hard time persuading Take-Two investors to give in to its advances. Its tender offer at $26 a share expired with just 8% of Take-Two shareholders nibbling on the offer last month. The tender was then extended, but at a lower price of $25.74 a share.

Way to be taken seriously, EA!

EA discusses its latest quarterly earnings tonight. Somebody will no doubt ask during the conference call about a sweetened offer for Take-Two.

After all, that's pretty much the only way EA walks out with Take-Two on its arm. Whether it offers more money or upgrades the deal with a cash-and-stock arrangement, EA is at the point where it can't afford to let Take-Two get away. The stakes are too high.

Activision (NASDAQ:ATVI) is now stronger with Blizzard's World of Warcraft on its side. EA has struck mostly small deals -- it has snapped up small developers and has dabbled overseas with a minority stake in China's online gaming specialist The9 (NASDAQ:NCTY). It can't afford to blow its chance to snag Take-Two, lest the company hook up with another likely suitor, such as Viacom (NYSE:VIA), Activision, or Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT).  

Thank you for showing us the money, EA. Now let's see whether you know how to use it.

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