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DraftKings And FanDuel Nix Plans To Merge

DraftKings employees work at their desks in Boston. (Stephan Savoia/AP)
DraftKings employees work at their desks in Boston. (Stephan Savoia/AP)
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The two largest daily fantasy sports websites in the country — Boston-based DraftKings and New York-based FanDuel — have ended their plans to merge.

The termination of the deal comes almost a month after the Federal Trade Commission moved to block the merger, citing concerns about competition in the industry.

We believe it is in the best interests of our customers, employees, and investors to terminate our agreement to merge with FanDuel and move forward as a separate company," DraftKings CEO Jason Robins said in a statement Thursday.

FanDuel CEO Nigel Eccles issued a similar statement Thursday.

DraftKings said the move will allow the company to focus on providing an "innovative and engaging interactive sports experience." FanDuel said it will continue to "grow our business and further expand the fantasy sports industry."

In June, the FTC said the combined company would control more than 90 percent of the U.S. market for paid daily fantasy sports contests and "deprive customers of the substantial benefits of direct competition." The agency also filed a complaint in federal court, along with the attorneys general of California and the District of Columbia, seeking a preliminary injunction to stop the deal.

Both DraftKings and FanDuel had expressed disappointment with the FTC's move.

In his statement Thursday, Eccles reiterated his belief that the merger "would have increased investment in growth and product development thereby benefiting consumers and the greater sports entertainment industry."

DraftKings and FanDuel first announced plans to merge last fall. The companies said combining into one company would help them lower costs as they tried to turn a profit.

The companies also faced off with regulators around the country, including in Massachusetts and New York, who questioned whether the online games were akin to illegal gambling.

The games allow users to create virtual teams of real sports players — and then win cash based on how well the professional athletes perform in real life.

Earlier:

Zeninjor Enwemeka Twitter Reporter
Zeninjor Enwemeka is a reporter who covers business, tech and culture as part of WBUR's Bostonomix team, which focuses on the innovation economy.

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