FanDuel open to abandonment of DraftKings merger

12 July 2017

FanDuel could abandon plans to merge with DraftKings after initial plans were rejected by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Chief executive Nigel Eccles said the daily fantasy sports (DFS) operator is still “evaluating options”.

In an interview with Recode website, Eccles was pressed as to whether the two DFS giants might abandon their plans or fight federal antitrust regulators, and replied: “All of those things are still on the table.”

When asked about the future of the deal, a spokesperson for DraftKings told Recode: “We are working as quickly as possible to determine the best course of action in the interest of our customers, employees and investors.”

An initial scheduling conference with the FTC is set to occur before an administrative judge on July 14.

The deal, first announced last year, was blocked by the competition watchdog on a 2-0 vote in June as the combination of two operators that are estimated to make up around 90 per cent of the US market was deemed potentially harmful to both consumers and rival companies.

“This merger would deprive customers of the substantial benefits of direct competition between DraftKings and FanDuel,” FTC Bureau of Competition acting director, Tad Lipsky, said last month.

The deal was first announced in November 2016, with Eccles saying at the time: “Being able to combine DraftKings and FanDuel presents a tremendous opportunity for us to further innovate and disrupt the sports industry.”

Related articles:
Federal Trade Commission to oppose DraftKings-FanDuel merger

DraftKings confirms merger with FanDuel