Let’s call it a day – DraftKings and FanDuel merger talks abandoned

Let’s call it a day – DraftKings and FanDuel merger talks abandoned

Friday, July 14, 2017
The news comes a few weeks after the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) moved to block the merger

The world’s leading daily fantasy sport (DFS) operators, DraftKings and FanDuel, have announced that they have decided to call off their planned merger.

The news comes a few weeks after the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) moved to block the merger on the grounds that the resulting company would own over a 90% market share of the DFS market.

Many had speculated from the initial rumours of a potential merger that this may be the case, and it seems that the naysayers have ultimately been proven right.

DraftKings CEO Jason Robins commented: “We believe it is in the best interests of our customers, employees, and investors to terminate our agreement to merge with FanDuel and move forward as a separate company.

“This will allow us to singularly focus on our mission of providing the most innovative and engaging interactive sports experience imaginable, forever changing the way fans connect with teams and athletes worldwide.

“We appreciate the continued loyalty of our players – it is you who have made this all possible – and we look forward to kicking off what is going to be our best NFL season yet!”

Meanwhile, FanDuel’s chief executive Nigel Eccles stated: “FanDuel decided to merge with DraftKings last November because we believed that this deal would have increased investment in growth and product development thereby benefiting consumers and the greater sports entertainment industry.

“While our opinion has not changed, we have determined that it is in the best interest of our shareholders, customers, employees, and partners to terminate the merger agreement and move forward as an independent company.”

FanDuel came into being in 2009, while DraftKings only launched in 2012. It’s DraftKings, though, that one DFS expert predicts is now in the stronger position of the two.

Daniel Barbarisi, author of ‘Dueling With Kings’ commented: “If the two companies have to go back to war, I’d put my money on DraftKings. Through the merger process, DraftKings operated as if the merger was no guarantee.

“It raised money and continued to push the envelope and grow the brand. FanDuel didn’t raise money, and its new initiatives weren’t as aggressive. That has left DraftKings in the stronger position now that the time to play nice is over, and they have to compete for market share again.”

Totally Gaming says: It’s back to the business of competing to the biggest and best in DFS for FanDuel and DraftKings. A lot of manpower and hours must have gone into this planned merger, so it’s doubtless a major blow to each party, but one that many speculated always looked to be the case. 

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