File this one firmly under "unconfirmed," but it's nevertheless a tantalizing rumor.
According to Fast Money's Guy Adami, via TheStreet.com, Apple is "eyeing Electronic Arts as a takeover target." EA's currently the second-largest games publisher in the world and owner of the smash hit NFL-licensed series of football games. Could we be facing the possibility of a Mac-only iMadden?
Well, probably not. Apple has indeed been bolstering its games know-how, hiring a major Xbox strategist away from Microsoft in recent weeks. And EA is no stranger to Apple platforms: in the last year it's brought several of its major franchises to the iPhone, including Sim City, Tiger Woods, and Spore, with considerable success. But it's a far cry from there to a takeover, and that's putting it mildly.
Specialist video games analyst Michael Pachter seems to agree. Speaking to Gamasutra, he pointed out that if Apple was looking to make some entertainment acquisitions, it could buy Warner Music — which controls 20% of the music industry — for roughly half of EA's estimated price. However, the doubt didn't stop EA's stock from bucking the market trend to climb 1.63% at closing.