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NEWS 18 November 2016

DraftKings and FanDuel agree merger

By Tom Lewis
The two largest operators in the daily fantasy sports (DFS) industry have announced their agreement to merge.

The pair are expected to finalise their merger, subject to regulatory approval, in the second half of 2017, with both to continue operating under their respective brand names until the process reaches completion.

The terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but it has been confirmed that DraftKings CEO Jason Robins will become CEO of the merged entity, while FanDuel CEO Nigel Eccles will be Chairman of the Board.

The announcement comes in the wake of a New York Times report that the pair are suffering from cash flow problems, having fought a number of legal battles across the USA in a bid to see DFS offered legally in certain states, while they were fined $6m each in a settlement with New York State over false advertising.

A statement on DraftKings’ website reads: “By combining and streamlining resources, FanDuel and DraftKings can work more efficiently and economically with state government officials to develop a standard regulatory framework for the industry."

Robins commented: “We have always been passionate about providing the best possible experience for our customers and this merger will help advance our goal of building a transformational global sports entertainment platform.

“Joining forces will allow us to truly realise the potential of our vision, and as a combined company we will be able to accelerate the pace of innovation and bring a richer experience to our customers than we ever could have done separately.”

FanDuel’s Nigel Eccles said: “Being able to combine DraftKings and FanDuel presents a tremendous opportunity for us to further innovate and disrupt the sports industry.

“While both companies have accomplished much already, this transaction will create a business that can offer a greater variety of offerings, appealing to new users, including the tens of millions of season-long fantasy players that haven’t yet tried our products.”

RELATED TAGS: Mergers & Acquisitions
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