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EA makes deal with FTC to wait on Take-Two deal

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Video game maker Electronic Arts Inc ERTS.O said on Wednesday it agreed with the Federal Trade Commission not to buy rival Take-Two Interactive Software Inc TTWO.O until regulators end a probe, or 45 days pass, after EA complies with an FTC information request.

The FTC is reviewing the roughly $2 billion takeover deal proposed by EA for Take-Two, the publisher of “Grand Theft Auto.”

Last month, EA extended a tender offer for Take-Two shares until June 16, allowing the FTC probe to continue.

Take-Two has rejected EA’s offer as too little and had said that it wanted to wait for merger talks until the launch of “Grand Theft Auto 4.”

GTA made a record-breaking launch at the end of April, and Take-Two on Thursday will report earnings for the April-ending quarter.

Take-Two shares rose 1 percent to $27.37, and EA shares were 1.4 percent higher at $49.25 on Nasdaq in late morning trading.

Reporting by Peter Henderson; Editing by Maureen Bavdek

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