NBC Universal reportedly held talks with Electronic Arts (EA) about a potential merger before the deal fell through.
According to a new report by Puck (opens in new tab), Brian Roberts, CEO of NBC parent company Comcast, approached EA CEO Andrew Wilson with a proposal to make the media and gaming giants one behemoth of an entertainment company. The deal would’ve gave the Roberts family controlling interest of the company, with Wilson running the show presumably as CEO. In the version of the deal most seriously discussed, NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell would’ve been promoted to a higher-up post at Comcast. The deal reportedly fell through due to cost and structure disagreements.
The Puck report also claims Wilson and EA have had talks with Disney, Apple, and Amazon about a merger, but there aren’t any additional details about those talks in the report. VentureBeat’s Jeff Grubb responded (opens in new tab) to the report on Twitter, adding, “Everyone is always talking to everybody” and claiming it’s “not even the full list of companies that EA has had conversations like this with since [Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard] was announced.”
EA spokesperson John Reseburg didn’t respond to the report specifically but issued the following statement in response: “We are proud to be operating from a position of strength and growth, with a portfolio of amazing games, built around powerful IP, made by incredibly talented teams, and a network of more than half a billion players. We see a very bright future ahead.”