Fantasy sports website DraftKings, which was granted a gaming licence by the Malta Gaming Authority in January, has abandoned a plan to merge with rival company FanDuel.
The announcement was made less than a month after US competition regulators sought to block the deal, stating that it the effect may substantially lessen competition, or create a monopoly. The deal would have created a company with control over 90 per cent of the market for paid, daily fantasy sports contests, government officials said.
Draft Kings chief executive Jason Robbins said terminating the merger would allow the firm to "singularly focus" on growth, including internationally. Its controlled skill games licence, granted by the MGA, allows it to operate in Malta and many other European Union states.
Nigel Eccles, head of FanDuel, said that there was still enormous, untapped market opportunity for FanDuel. “We will continue to execute our strategy to grow our business and further expand the fantasy sports industry," he said in a statement.
Last year there were an estimated 57 million fantasy sports players in the US alone.