SAN MATEO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 28, 1998--Electronic Arts(TM)(NASDAQ:ERTS), the world's largest interactive entertainment software company, today announced the acquisition of ABC Software AG, an independent distributor of entertainment, edutainment and application software in Switzerland and Austria, headquartered in Sevelen, Switzerland.

ABC becomes a wholly owned subsidiary

of Electronic Arts (EA) and will continue to provide the Swiss and Austrian markets with products from EA and other leading independent software publishers. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The acquisition is part of Electronic Arts' commitment to worldwide direct sales channel expansion that began five years ago. The move follows EA's purchases of other independent distributors: Kingsoft GmbH (Aachen, Germany); DROsoft, S.A. (Madrid, Spain); and Vision Soft (Johannesburg, South Africa).

Electronic Arts has well-established pan-European distribution and publishing companies in most major European countries. This latest acquisition will allow EA to directly distribute entertainment software throughout Switzerland and Austria, expanding on the network established by ABC Software.

ABC Software (ABC) of Switzerland was founded in 1991; its wholly owned subsidiary ABC Software (Austria) was established in 1993. ABC is Switzerland's leading distributor of entertainment, edutainment and application software. ABC Software (Switzerland and Austria) has more than 60 full-time employees.

The company has exclusive distribution agreements with many of the region's largest retailers. In addition to Electronic Arts products, ABC distributes software for other leading publishers.

"ABC Software is one of the top-tier distributors in Europe," said David Gardner, Managing Director for Electronic Arts Ltd. "The Swiss and Austrian markets offer a significant opportunity for Electronic Arts. ABC's long-standing relationships with retailers and other publishers will provide us with a solid base for future business."

ABC Software Managing Director Giuseppe Carrabs said, "Electronic Arts is the leading entertainment software company in the world. Their distribution and publishing organizations are second to none. Partnering with EA will enable us to provide a far higher level of service and expertise to both retailers and consumers and a constant flow of high-quality products."

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