Pac-Man, stylized as PAC-MAN, is an arcade game developed by Namco and first released in Japan as Puck Man in May 1980. It was created by Japanese video game designer Toru Iwatani. It was licensed for distribution in the United States by Midway Games and released in October 1980. Immensely popular from its original release to the present day, Pac-Man is considered one of the classics of the medium, and an icon of 1980s popular culture. Upon its release, the game—and, subsequently, Pac-Man derivatives—became a social phenomenon that yielded high sales of merchandise and inspired a legacy in other media, such as the Pac-Man animated television series and the top-ten Buckner and Garcia hit single “Pac-Man Fever”. Pac-Man was popular in the 1980s and 1990s and is still played in the 2010s.


What is ‘Pac-Man’

A high-risk hostile takeover defense in which the target firm tries to take over the company that has made the hostile bid by purchasing large amounts of the would-be acquirer’s stock. The Pac-Man defense is supposed to scare off the would-be acquirer, which doesn’t want to be taken over itself. The target may sell off its own assets or borrow heavily in order to acquire enough of the acquirer’s stock to prevent the takeover.

Explaining ‘Pac-Man’

The Pac-Man defense does not always work, but it was first successfully used in 1982 by Martin Marietta to prevent a takeover by Bendix Corp. In 1988, American Brands used it successfully against E-II, and TotalFina used it in 1999 to prevent a takeover by Elf Aquitaine. Some analysts speculated that Cadbury would try to use the Pac-Man defense against Kraft in 2009.

The Pac-Man defense may be used alone or in conjunction with other takeover defenses, such as the white knight.

Further Reading

  • Dots, fruit, speed and pills: the Happy Consciousness of – [PDF]
  • Beware Of Dragons And Pac-Man – [PDF]
  • Medicaid in the 1990s: Trends, Innovations, and the Future of the “PAC–Man” of State Budgets – [PDF]
  • Mazes, monsters and multicursality. Mastering Pac-Man 1980–2016 – [PDF]
  • From Pac-Man to Pop Music: Interactive Audio in Games and New Media – [PDF]
  • The Pension Pac-Man: How Pension Debt Eats Away at Teacher Salaries. – [PDF]
  • From Pac-Man to Pop Music: Interactive Audio in Games and New Media – [PDF]
  • Playing Pac-Man in Portville: Policing the dilution and fragmentation of drug importations through major seaports – [PDF]
  • How Pac-Man eats: by Noah Wardrip-Fruin, Cambridge, MA, USA, MIT Press,(December 2020), 368 pp., $35.00,£ 28.00 (Hardcover), ISBN: 9780262044653 – [PDF]