Daily fantasy companies DraftKings and FanDuel have announced a tentative merger, pending regulatory approval. The merger is expected to be finalized in the second half of 2017, which means the newly merged company should be in full operation in time for the 2017 football season.
According to David Purdum of ESPN, the two companies will each have three members on the board for the new company. DraftKings CEO Jason Robins will serve as the CEO of the company and FanDuel CEO Nigel Eccles will take on the role of chairman of the board.
“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 in the release announcing the agreement. “Joining forces will allow us to truly realize 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.”
Because DraftKings and FanDuel make up a substantial percentage of the daily fantasy industry, the merging of the two companies could constitute a monopoly. Daily fantasy has overtaken traditional fantasy sports options in recent years, and the legality of DFS has become a hot button topic. Reducing competition through the merger could be dangerous for the consumer, of course; as with all potential monopolies, there’s less incentive to keep prices (in this case, the portion of the fantasy pot taken by the company) down when there’s the perception that the player has nowhere else to play.
But, if it means fewer commercials, that might not be a bad trade-off.
Beyond FTC approval, all that remains is deciding on a name. They could stick with one of DraftKings or FanDuel. They could merge the names (FanKings? DraftDuel?), or even come up with a brand new brand identity.
Feel free to leave your suggestions in the comment section below.