All of this morning’s big news (well, the news that I’m not studiously ignoring in a pathetic attempt to maintain my sanity) seems to involve big business deals between big companies. The NBA cements its position as my favorite major sports league by taking the road less traveled, eschewing the exclusive contracts of the NFL, MLB, and NASCAR, opting instead to renew its existing licensing deals with five major publishers. In addition to assuring competition, innovation, etc., the deal means that at least one sub-genre of sports games is not about to descend into lucrative but uninteresting monopolies.

Over in the UK, a bidding war has emerged over Eidos, publisher of the Tomb Raider franchise. Hot on the heels of a buyout offer by Elevation Partners (an investment group that counts Bono among its members), SCi Entertainment Group has made its own bid for the struggling Eidos. There’s a hint of nationalistic pride in the framing of news stories of the bidding: Eidos and SCi are both British companies, while Elevation is a US-based outfit. It’s sort of like the EA-Ubisoft flap a while back, in which fellow French publishers Infogrames and Vivendi Universal made noises of solidarity in the face of a rumored buyout. The difference is that in the case of Eidos, there’s actual money on the table and something is really going to happen; it has to, because Eidos is rapidly running out of options for survival.

Speaking of bidding wars, it looks like Oracle will be the new owner of Retek, outbidding SAP for the retail systems developer. Retek’s not a video game company, of course, but it is my old place of employment, and it’s nice to see them get some play. And I’m not bitter AT ALL about the fact that Oracle’s finally buying Retek out now rather than many years ago, when my stock options might have been worth something. No, really, I’m not: my Retek days are so long gone that those six years seem like a dream — a dream full of gray cubicles, conference calls with angry clients, and something about “ini_trans and freelists.” Perversely, the only thing about Retek that I miss (besides eyecare insurance and regular paychecks) is doing code reviews, because nothing gives me more joy than marking up another person’s work with a red pen.