Talks With SEGA BeginsJapans Sega Corp. said on Wednesday its board members had given it the go-ahead to "officially" consider merger deals proposed by pinball machine maker Sammy Corp and fellow game maker Namco Ltd. The company, known for its "Sonic the Hedgehog" games, declined to provide details of the boards discussion, but a spokesman said Sega was aiming to make a final decision on the proposals by the middle of May so that a deal could be approved by a shareholders meeting slated for late June. Last week, Namco said it wanted to reopen merger talks with Sega, threatening to torpedo Segas planned October integration with Sammy. Asked whether Segas board members had agreed to consider other reported options such as an operational alliance with Electronic Arts Inc, the spokesman said he could not comment. The Nihon Keizai business daily said last week that Segas board was expected to agree on Wednesday to also consider a proposal from EA for a capital alliance and collaboration in development and sales with Sega. Namco and Sammy both declined to comment on the current status of merger discussions with Sega.