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Daily Fantasy Sports Merger
FILE - In this Sept. 9, 2015, file photo, Len Don Diego, marketing manager for content at the DraftKings daily fantasy sports company, works at his station at the company's offices in Boston. DraftKings and FanDuel are downplaying media reports this week that the two biggest daily fantasy sports companies could team up. But given their swift change of fortune this past year, industry watchers say the timing’s right for a deal. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia, File)

DraftKings and FanDuel have scrapped their proposed merger


Two of the largest daily fantasy sports companies have abandoned their planned merger, according to The Washington Post.

DraftKings and FanDuel separately announced they would refrain from combining together Thursday.

“FanDuel decided to merge with DraftKings last November, because we believed that this deal would have increased investment in growth and product development thereby benefitting consumers and the greater sports entertainment industry,” FanDuel chief executive Nigel Eccles said in a statement.

“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,” he added.

DraftKings chief executive Jason Robins cited similar reasons in his own statement Thursday, adding his company is gradually reaching overseas markets.

“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,” he said.

Some Twitter users on Thursday weighed in on the decision, which came after the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) vowed to oppose the merger last month.

The FTC reportedly announced in June it would reject the proposed merger, as did California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Washington, D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine.

All three parties said the merger would produce in an unfair advantage in the daily fantasy sports industry by giving the companies over 90 percent of the available market share.

DraftKings and FanDuel were left with either an expensive legal fight with the federal government or dropping the proposal following the FTC’s decision.

Fantasy sports are an increasingly popular pastime, but both DraftKings and FanDuel have clashed with authorities in several states that see it as a form of gambling.

DraftKings and FanDuel have each argued fantasy sports are contests determined by skill, with participants choosing which real-life athletes will perform best in competitions.

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