September 21, 2023


General Evolution

NBC Universal acquisition of Electronic Arts fell apart at the last second



Back in January, just after information of the Microsoft-Activision deal broke, I famous that Roberts had couple of great options left: ViacomCBS, with a sector cap of $21 billion, was too little to deliver significant scale to NBCUniversal and, regardless, any opportunity acquisition would have expected a divestiture of overlapping property like the CBS broadcast station. The other solution, I wrote, was Digital Arts, the formidable gaming corporation, which had a $40 billion sector cap at the time that has since fallen to $36 billion. Though not as major as Activision, the Redwood City-primarily based organization would have presented NBCUniversal a major stake in the gaming world. An acquisition of EA would also have developed alternatives for synergies amongst NBCUniversal’s vast catalog of sporting activities rights and Electronic Arts’ well-known EA Sports activities franchise, which include Madden.


As it turns out, Roberts observed this logic as very well. In the wake of the Microsoft-Activision deal, Roberts approached Digital Arts C.E.O. Andrew Wilson with a proposal to spin off NBCUniversal and merge the media and gaming giants, four sources with awareness of the proposal instructed me. The common conditions of the proposal, which lawyers and bankers for equally sides negotiated for various weeks, would have observed the Roberts relatives get bulk management of the combined entity. In the configuration most seriously discussed, the company would have been run by Wilson. If the offer went as a result of on people terms, NBCUniversal C.E.O. Jeff Shell would very likely have been elevated to a different position at Comcast, a single source with understanding of the designs explained. Shell was concerned in deal discussions, I am explained to.


The proposal finally fell aside inside the previous month because of to disagreements around cost and framework. Jennifer Khoury, the chief communications officer for Comcast, declined to comment. Digital Arts spokesperson John Reseburg mentioned his enterprise would not comment “on rumors and speculation relating to M&A,” and extra: “We are very pleased to be working from a placement of energy and expansion, with a portfolio of astounding online games, designed all-around impressive IP, manufactured by extremely talented groups, and a network of far more than 50 % a billion players. We see a really bright upcoming in advance.”



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