DraftKings and FanDuel reach deal to create combined business

Daily fantasy sports (DFS) companies DraftKings and FanDuel have today (Friday) announced they have agreed terms on a merger deal.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but it was confirmed that Jason Robins, chief executive of DraftKings, will take on the same role within the new combined business.

FanDuel chief executive Nigel Eccles will serve as chairman of the board, which will comprise three directors from both DraftKings and FanDuel, as well as one independent director. The companies expect to complete the merger next year.

In a joint statement, DraftKings and FanDuel said the deal would enable them to “better serve consumers”, with the operational efficiencies and cost savings generated from the merger to enable the combined company to focus more on developing new products and features.

The combined operation, the name of which is yet to be confirmed, will also look to invest in strategic partnerships across the global sports market. Both brands added that as a result of the merger, media, advertising and other partners will benefit from access to more products and customers.

“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,” Robins said.

“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 Eccles added: “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.”

DraftKings and FanDuel account for 90 to 95 per cent of the DFS market. Both companies have seen their development aided by major investment from media conglomerates and venture capitalists, along with partnerships with major leagues in the US.

The NBA has equity in FanDuel, while Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League are partners with DraftKings, along with 28 of the 32 NFL American football franchises.

Source: www.sportbusiness.com

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