WASHINGTON — DraftKings and FanDuel chose to scrap their merger versus
fighting the U.S. government, which
had sought to block the deal of the country’s two top daily fantasy sports sites on
grounds that it threatened competition
In a mid-July statement, FanDuel
CEO Nigel Eccles said the move was
“in the best interest of our shareholders,
customers, employees, and partners to ter-
minate the merger agreement and move
forward as an independent company.”
DraftKings confirmed its decision
to drop the deal while touting its future
prospects: “We have a growing customer
base of nearly 8 million, our revenue is
growing over 30 percent year-over-year,
and we are only just beginning to take our
product overseas to the billions of inter-
national sports fans we have yet to even
reach,” said Jason Robbins, DraftKings’
FanDuel and DraftKings announced
merger plans in November, saying the
deal could help them weather their
shared, mounting financial woes, while
fighting a regulatory environment that at
times resulted in stiff fines.
But after reviewing the merger, the
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) determined that the two companies combined
would have served more than 90 percent
of the market for daily fantasy sports bets.
The attorneys general of California and
the District of Columbia also opposed the
merger on the same grounds.
FanDuel and DraftKings tried to argue
that they served a much broader industry
— including more casual, year-long fantasy sports leagues, the likes of which are
offered by Yahoo, ESPN, and other web
behemoths. The FTC still voted 2-0 in
June to block the deal.
Markus Meier, the acting director at
the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, said
Folds Under FTC Pressure
BY DOUG McPHERSON
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