All thats left is Upper Deck

When i used to collect baseball cards there were tons of choices: topps, donruss, score, fleer, then upper deck came along it was the cool new thing in 1989/1990. Then each brand had like 10 subset groups like o-pee-chee, bowman, fleer ultra, topps stadium club, leaf, etc, etc, etc. Now there is only Topps and Upper deck. Topps still does bowman and Upper Deck apparently bought out Fleer and still publishes low-end sets with that name. But now Upper Deck wants to buy Topps! Their only competitor!

Last week, the proposed buy out of Topps by Upper Deck cleared the anti-trust hurdle when the waiting period for the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act expired without any actions from the government challenging the deal.

Don’t know why the government isn’t challenging this. Maybe because no one cares about baseball cards? Except me.

But Topps and Upper deck are behaving like card-collecting children. The evidence:

Topps:

“Upper Deck’s behaviour has raised an increasing amount of skepticism among our directors as to whether Upper Deck truly intends to acquire Topps, or whether it is simply taking steps to interfere with the current transaction with Tornante-MDP and otherwise harm Topps’ business. We urge Upper Deck to start behaving like a motivated buyer if in fact it wishes to acquire Topps.”

Tornante-MDP is just fancy talk for Michael Eisner of Walt Disney fame’s new company

Upper Deck responds:

“Upper Deck has been steadfast in its desire to acquire Topps and has gone to great lengths and expense in the face of equally steadfast determination by Topps to prevent Upper Deck from acquiring Topps.”

This seems like a lose-lose situation for baseball card lovers no matter who buys Topps. Ok, especially if Upper Deck buys them. But what do I know about business, nothing. I maybe set foot in the Kelley school of Business once in over 5 years in Bloomington.

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