Daily fantasy sports (DFS) titans FanDuel and DraftKings have seen their planned merger dealt a significant blow as the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed suit to halt the deal.
The FTC, along with the attorneys general of California and the District of Columbia, will file a complaint in federal district court, moving to block the deal based on anti-trust concerns.
With a full administrative trial scheduled to begin on November 21, the FTC has sought a preliminary injunction to prevent the firms from tying the knot.
FTC officials stated that the tie up would take 90% of the DFS business under one organisation, with Tad Lipsky, acting director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, stating: “The proposed merger would deprive customers of the substantial benefits of direct competition between DraftKings and FanDuel.
“The FTC is committed to the preservation of competitive markets, which offer consumers the best opportunity to obtain innovative products and services at the most favourable prices and terms consistent with the provision of competitive returns to efficient producers.”
DraftKings CEO Jason Robins issued a joint statement with his FanDuel counterpart, Nigel Eccles, registering their disappointment at the development: “We are disappointed by this decision and continue to believe that a merger is in the best interests of our players, our companies, our employees and the fantasy sports industry.”