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Electronic Arts buys PopCap for $1.3bn

EA wants to rival Zynga in social networking games market

Electronic Arts (EA) has purchased games firm PopCap for $1.3bn.

Under the terms of the deal, EA will fork out $650m in cash and $100m in stock for the firm, which is behind popular mobile phone games such as Bejeweled and Peggle. A further $550m could be paid if PopCap hits certain targets in the next two years.

PopCap, which was founded in 2000, says around 80 percent of its game sales are through social network and mobile phone platforms.

According to EA's chief financial officer, Eric Brown, the deal will allow EA to better compete with Zynga, the firm behind massively popular social networking games such as Farmville, which is available on Facebook.

"This gives us a much stronger presence in social network games," Brown said.

PopCap's chief executive, David Roberts, said that by working with EA, the company will be able to "scale our games and services to deliver more social, mobile, casual fun to an even bigger, global audience".

The deal should be completed by August.

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