North American video game retail giants GameStop and Electronics Boutique (better known to the masses as EBGames) have announced a merger today where the former will buy the latter for a handsome $1.44 billion US in cash and stock. This means EBGames as we know it will pretty much cease to exist and the combined companies will become one single entity known as GameStop. No doubt the merger will make the new GameStop the largest video game retailer in the US, with an expected market share of around 25 percent. They will certainly become larger than Best Buy, Wal-Mart, etc.
"The combined company, to be named GameStop Corp., will be a leading global video game retailer with annual revenues of approximately $3.8 billion, with over 3,200 stores located in all 50 United States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, as well as nearly 600 international stores located throughout Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Norway and Sweden."
Things will be especially interesting for folks in the frigid wastelands of Canada, because there haven't been any GameStop stores up here in the past. Perhaps EB stores outside of the US and Europe could be turning into GameStops sometime this year or early next. Elsewhere, things will be a different story with EB stores likely closing down if they are in proximity to existing GameStop outlets.
The press release unfortunately wasn't too clear as to when exactly this shift will occur.