I have to agree with many of the posters here. Getting bought out by EA may work in the short term, but when you look at all the companies that have been purchased by EA, very few are still around today. We're talking about companies that did have a good track record and all it took was one minor slump before EA wiped them out. Westwood had been around since the mid1980s, and had a number of good franchises and titles under their belt. Origin was the same way. Bullfrog had many popular titles as well. All of them hit a slump, which may or may not have been due to EA pulling their strings, and once that slump hit, EA was pretty quick in wiping those companies out and keeping their intellectual properties.
If The Sims stopped selling well as a franchise, I don't think Maxis would be around that long afterwards. I wouldn't be surprised to see an announcement on EA disbanding them within the next five years. The Sims will eventually run it's course, and Maxis doesn't really have anything else under their belts right now.
The shareholders of Digital Illusions will probably win from this, but the development studio won't win in the long run.