ITS OFFICIAL – FANDUEL AND DRAFTKINGS WILL MERGE (Update)
 
Weeks of speculation and rumour end following joint company announcement Friday.
 
DraftKings and FanDuel, the two largest companies in the daily fantasy sports market, have agreed to merge, the companies announced Friday morning.
 
Pending approval by the Federal Trade Commission, the merger will close in late 2017.
 
The financial terms of the merger were not disclosed in the announcement, which revealed that it has been agreed that DraftKings CEO Jason Robins will serve in the same capacity at the as yet unnamed merged company, and FanDuel CEO Nigel Eccles will become chairman of the board.
 
Robins said in the joint statement that the merger will “help us advance our goal of building a transformational global sports entertainment platform.
 
“Being able to combine DraftKings and FanDuel presents a tremendous opportunity for us to further innovate and disrupt the sports industry,” said Eccles.
 
The merger will allow the cash-hungry companies to combine resources and eliminate redundant spending as they wage legal, lobbying and public relations battles in multiple states over the legality of the daily fantasy industry, the Washington Post observed.
 
Last month, DraftKings and FanDuel each agreed to pay $6 million to the New York attorney general’s office to settle claims that they used false and deceptive advertising.
 
DraftKings and FanDuel, combined, have about 5 million users, according company figures, while an estimated 57 million people in North America play some type of fantasy sports, and the activity is picking up in Europe.