June 20 – The merger of daily fantasy sports DraftKings and FanDuel has been temporarily shelved after the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) stepped in to block the deal.
Announced in November 2016 that they would merge, the new company would have controlled 95% of the US daily fantasy sports market. This proved too much for the regulators who say that a merger could impact customers by taking away the benefits offered through competition.
The FTC is seeking a preliminary injunction to halt the merger while it reviews whether it is legal under antitrust law.
DraftKings and FanDuel immediately responded that they were “disappointed by this approach and continue to believe that a merger is in the best interests of our players and the fantasy sports industry.”
For the time being the two DFS operators will remain separate companies with both moving to reassure players that there will be no changes to their accounts or the games.
It is likely DraftKings and FanDuel will challenge the FTC position legally. “The FTC’s position on our merger is far from being the final word and we are considering all our options, including litigation,” said a joint statement.
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