Let me rephrase because I was not a precise as I should have been the first time. The first sentence used “intent”, the second sentence use the term “desire”. Neither of those terms assumes current ownership. Both speak to positions on possible future actions, and both are obviously dependent upon the sale going through. There is no legal issue here.
But in fact, we should just put all of that discussion aside - it’s irrelevant. Because in fact, there is no legal issue to begin with - companies doing mergers make announcements about future plans all the time before the merger without legal ramifications - and, indeed, they have to. They can’t wait until Day 1 of the merger to tell employees, suppliers, customers, shareholders, and regulators exactly what is going to happen. For example, companies name executives for the combined companies/operations (MS has already stated that Kotick will report to Spencer - oops, how did their lawyers let them do that!?!), companies name the location of corporate HQ’s (if a merger of equals). Other leadership posts have to be named, all the way down. Sometime the name of the company has to be changed or it has to be decided which name to use - do you think that isn’t going to be communicated until Day 1 of the merger with all the legal filings that need to be made? Employees need to told about changes to benefit plans, such as health care, retirement, etc. Often times, if there is overlap, companies will indicate their plans to divest locations, well ahead of the merger. In fact many mergers/purchases are based upon cutting redundancies, eliminating weak product lines, etc. and companies make public statements about these plans ahead of time to convince shareholders and Wall Street that the merger/purchase is a great deal. There’s tons of stuff that is announced well before any actual change in ownership is made. In fact I think it’s pretty safe to say that most major decisions are made, and many are announced, well before Day 1 of any merger.