UPDATE 1-Take-Two, FTC reach accord on merger review

Thu Jun 19, 2008 7:17pm BST

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(Adds details from court documents)

NEW YORK, June 19 (Reuters) - Video game maker Take-Two Interactive Software Inc (TTWO.O) and the Federal Trade Commission have reached agreement on providing information regarding a takeover bid by larger rival Electronic Arts Inc ERTS.O.

Take-Two said it agreed on Wednesday to continue to provide information, but limit the scope of information and access to witnesses in a way that will reduce the cost and distraction to its employees.

EA this week extended its $2 billion takeover offer for Take-Two until July 18 to allow the FTC to review the deal. Take-Two has rejected the offer as too low.

The FTC had asked a court to enforce subpoenas for information about the takeover, and a hearing had been set for June 24 to discuss the issues, according to court documents.

That hearing, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, has now been canceled, according to court documents and Take-Two. A hearing is now set for July 8 to deal with any additional disputes, according to the documents.

The FTC had accused Take-Two of responding to its subpoenas slowly, with incomplete information and sometimes giving illegible documents.

At one point, according to a document from the FTC filed with the court, a Take-Two lawyer told the FTC that "Take-Two had decided that it was unfair for the commission to burden it with the expense and effort that would be required to comply."

The FTC assesses deals over a certain size -- about $60 million -- to ensure that they do not violate antitrust laws. (Reporting by Michele Gershberg and Diane Bartz, editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Braden Reddall)

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