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Electronic Arts Stock Jumps On Report of Takeover Interest In FIFA Video Game Maker

Electronic Arts, which is set to lose its FIFA football branding later this year, is reportedly looking at takeover options in the rapidly-changing video game sector.

Updated at 2:35 pm EST

Electronic Arts  (EA) - Get Electronic Arts Inc. Report shares jumped higher in pre-market trading Monday amid reports that the video game maker could be considering selling itself in a takeover and has held talks with a number of potential buyers.

Puck News, a digital media website launched last year, said the maker of the FIFA football and NBA 2K game franchises, has held talks with Disney  (DIS) - Get The Walt Disney Company Report, Amazon  (AMZN) - Get Amazon.com Inc. Report and Apple  (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. Report, while NBCUniversal owner Comcast  (CMCSA) - Get Comcast Corporation Class A Common Stock Report has floated the idea of merging its media division with the video game maker.

The report comes as Microsoft  (MSFT) - Get Microsoft Corporation Report looks to complete its $69 billion of Activision Blizzard  (ATVI) - Get Activision Blizzard Inc Report amid a probe into the deal by the Department of Justice, which is looking into allegations, and issued a grand jury subpoena to the group last month, following options purchases by three different investors -- Barry Diller, David Geffen and Alexander von Furstenberg -- just prior to when Microsoft's proposed takeover was announced in January.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is also reviewing the deal, Activision said in March, while Microsoft is seeking approvals in at least 17 different jurisdictions before the deal can be closed sometime next year. 

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Take-Two Interactive  (TTWO) - Get Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. Report, meanwhile, closed its $12.7 billion takeover of Farmville maker Zynga  (ZNGA) - Get Zynga Inc. Report earlier Monday as the Grand Theft Auto make looks to leverage its presence in the mobile sector.

Electronic Arts is also working under a new CFO -- and former Microsoft executive -- Chris Suh, who assumed his role in March following the departure of Blake Jorgensen. 

Electronic Arts shares were marked 2.8% higher in early afternoon trading Monday to change hands at $134.42 each, a move that would almost nudge the stock into positive territory for the year.

Earlier this month, Electronic Arts said current quarter sales would likely slide to around $1.44 billion as gamers spend few hours in front of their consoles in a post-pandemic world.

The forecast was also complicated by the loss of its three-decade long agreement with FIFA, the governing body for world football, that was reportedly worth around $150 million a year.

Electronic Arts will continue to produce a FIFA 23 version of its signature game, but will no long have exclusive rights to the franchise following the World Cup later this year in Qatar.