DraftKings' Planned Merger With FanDuel Faces Challenge by U.S.

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DraftKings CEO Focused on Expansion and Improving Games

The proposed merger between fantasy sports rivals DraftKings Inc. and FanDuel Inc. is facing a challenge from the Federal Trade Commission and the attorneys general of California and Washington, who say the combined company would control more than 90 percent of the U.S. market for paid daily fantasy sports.

“This merger would deprive customers of the substantial benefits of direct competition between DraftKings and FanDuel,” Tad Lipsky, acting director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, said in a statement.

With three open seats, the FTC is functioning with one Republican and one Democratic commissioner. Both voted to issue the complaint and seek a preliminary injunction to stop the deal pending a full trial.

The CEOs of DraftKings and FanDuel said in a joint statement that they are considering their options. “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,” they said.

(Updates with comment from DraftKings and FanDuel.)
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