NBC reportedly proposed to merge with EA – IGN

NBCUniversal has reportedly all but merged with Electronic Arts, as Comcast CEO Brian Roberts has apparently approached EA CEO Andrew Wilson with a proposal to combine the entertainment media company with the gaming giant.

According to Puck, lawyers and bankers at NBCUniversal and EA negotiated for weeks over how a possible merger would take place. The general proposal would have allowed the Roberts family to take control of the combined company, but with current EA CEO Andrew Wilson at the helm of the company.

If Wilson had been the CEO of the merged company, then current NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell would have had a bigger role at Comcast — and Shell would have been involved in the talks as well.

Over the past month of talks, the proposal fell through due to disagreements over the price of the merger and how it would be structured. But amid the current trend of mergers and acquisitions in the games industry, EA is said to have been talking with other big companies such as Disney, Apple and Amazon about a possible acquisition.

EA’s interest in the acquisition has reportedly grown since Microsoft bought Activision Blizzard earlier this year. Although a major concern for any merger for EA will allow Wilson to remain as CEO of the combined entity.

As recently as March, EA also reportedly approached Disney to pursue a “more meaningful relationship,” instead of just doing licensing deals like it does with something like Star Wars games.

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EA spokesman John Reseburg did not comment on this specific rumor, but issued a statement to Puck, saying, “We are proud to operate from a position of strength and growth, with a portfolio of incredible games, built around powerful IP, made by incredibly talented teams and a network of over half a billion gamers. We see a very bright future ahead of us.”

NBCUniversal once had its own game publishing business, but shut it down in 2019, only after less than 3 years of startup.

George Yang is a freelance writer for IGN.

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