ontroversial Boston startup DraftKings Inc. appears to be facing resistance from government officials once again, this time for its proposed merger with its New York rival, FanDuel Inc.
As originally proposed, the combination would grant FanDuel and DraftKings — which rank as the top-two daily fantasy sports websites in the United States — perhaps more than 80 percent of that particular market. That’s a significant foothold in the industry, and it’s weighed heavily on some legal staff at the FTC, which began its customary antitrust review of the merger shortly after it was announced in November 2016.
The two companies have been quiet on the merger since then as the FTC reviews whether the deal would be anti-competitive. The key question is whether commissioners view DraftKings and FanDuel as part of the wider fantasy sports industry — which contains much bigger players like Yahoo and ESPN — or whether regulators decide that daily fantasy sports is an industry of its own.