Electronic Arts has abandoned its $2 billion bid to acquire rival game maker Take-Two Interactive Software, ending a seven-month takeover effort that turned hostile before the two companies entered private talks last month.
"After careful consideration, including a management presentation and review of other due diligence materials provided by Take-Two Interactive Software, EA has decided not to make a proposal to acquire Take-Two and has terminated discussions with Take-Two," EA said in a statement Sunday.
The announcement brings to a close EA's long-running, but oft-rebuffed, effort to acquire Take-Two.
EA took its buyout offer public for the publisher of the wildly popular Grand Theft Auto franchise in February at $26 a share after Take-Two spurned an earlier attempt at a friendly takeover at $25 a share. Take-Two rejected the $26 offer as too low, and EA launched its hostile bid in March. EA subsequently reduced the offer to $25.74 a share. But repeated extensions and offer revisions seemed to hurt the company's credibility.
EA dropped its hostile bid in August after the two companies agreed to hold private talks about a potential transaction. A few days later, the Federal Trade Commission said it had conducted an investigation of a merger of the companies, but said no further action was required and closed the investigation.