DraftKings ‘never say never’ to FanDuel merger

Jason Robins

DraftKings CEO Jason Robins told Bloomberg TV he “would never say never” to a merger with Edinburgh and Manhattan-based rival fantasy sports operator FanDuel.

“There’s a lot of reasons why it could be beneficial … I think it’s an interesting idea and it has to be done in the right way to create the kind of long term shareholder value that I think can be created,” said Robins.

“We’ll see … these conversations sometimes stop and start and there is always a rhythm to it and when the time is right maybe it will hapen — I don’t know.”

Bloomberg News reported that Robins told the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco that DraftKings had held merger talks periodically over the last 18 months with FanDuel.

While he said no deal was imminent, Robins spelled out the benefits of a merger during an onstage interview at the conference, Bloomberg said.

He said having a bigger pool of players who put together fantasy sports teams would be helpful.

“Where that actually leads — and when — we’ll see,” Robins said at TechCrunch Disrupt.

“When the time is right, there’s potential.”

Robins said combining the two companies might also reduce legal and lobbying costs.

DraftKings and FanDuel are arguing in favor of laws that clearly define fantasy sports as legal after questions about whether they should be classified as gambling, Bloomberg said.

Bloomberg said investors in both firms were keen on a merger — but the issue of who would lead a combined company has been a stumbling point.

“I don’t know, frankly, whether this market can support two players,” Adam Krejcik, a principal at Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, a research firm, told Bloomberg.