FanDuel and DraftKings drop merger plan

FanDuel and DraftKings, the two giants in daily fantasy sports, plan to drop their plan to combine, weeks after a federal regulator announced it would attempt to block the deal.

The Federal Trade Commission, in June, along with the attorneys general from California and DC said that they planned to oppose the merger as it would lead to an unfair advantage in the daily fantasy sports industry by giving the companies over 90 per cent of the market share.

At the time when the merger was proposed, many antitrust experts were sceptical of approval.

After the FTC said it would try to block the merger, the companies had two choices: challenge the decision in an expensive legal battle or drop their proposal. The companies chose to go with the latter option.

''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,'' FanDuel chief executive Nigel Eccles said in a statement yesteray.

''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.''

According to Markus Meier, the acting director at the FTC's Bureau of Competition, the decision was a ''clear win'' for consumers.