Earlier today, rumors began cropping up about Sony buying up Rockstar parent company Take-Two Interactive. The Sony Take-Two whispers were, of course, false rumors stemming from loose sources that spun a narrative out of control. Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption aren’t about to become PlayStation exclusives. That incoming Borderlands 3 reveal isn’t going to end with “Only on PlayStation VR,” and Sony isn’t about to revive BioShock with Naughty Dog at the helm.
It all began with “TTWO M&A CHATTER MAKING ROUNDS…+2.5% – NO SOURCE **UNCONFIRMED**”. That was the note that head of technology and media trading at Wedbush Securities, Joel Kulina, wrote in response to Take-Two’s sudden jump in market share this morning. A MarketWatch report by Sue Chang and Chris Matthews quickly ran with the information, including line in their report saying “Take-Two Interactive Software stock climbed 4.7% on rumors that Sony Corp. ‘is in advanced board level discussions to acquire Take-Two Interactive in a mostly cash deal,’ that would value the company at $130 share, according to Joel Kulina, head of technology and media trading at Wedbush Securities.”
Responding to an inquiry from GamesIndustry.biz, Kulina denied making any such statement, outside of the above mentioned note. He certainly didn’t directly say that Sony is in discussions to buy Take-Two. Those were leaps made by the MarketWatch article from Kulina’s shorthand note. The MarketWatch authors further confirmed this by saying that Kulina’s original note was their source.
“The stock shot up at the start of trade today to lead the S&P 500 and I was simply looking for plausible explanations. Joel’s in a good position to know what’s moving individual tech stocks, even if they are just rumors. In terms of timing, [Take-Two] stock was well up before his email went out, so it was not his dissemination of the rumor that sparked the move,” Matthews tried to make clear that their article was not what caused the sudden jump for Take-Two, but rather was a response to it, looking for an explanation for the increase.
GamesIndustry.biz is careful to point out that while the original source may be overblown, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the rumor is altogether false. It just means that the original source has a shaky foundation and that the details featured in the MarketWatch report aren’t even worth reporting on as speculation. If there’s somebody in some boardroom at Sony talking about acquiring Take-Two, it’s not something that anybody credibly knows anything about just yet.
MarketWatch has since amended their article to say “Take-Two Interactive Software stock climbed 5.2% after Joel Kulina, head of technology and media trading at Wedbush Securities, referenced rumors about potential takeover interest from Sony Corp. in his note to clients,” removing mention of additional speculative details.