DraftKings and FanDuel may be reaching merger deal

DraftKingsDraftKings CEO Jason Robins speaks during an interview with Reuters in New York, September 9, 2015.REUTERS/Mike Segar

Fantasy-sports companies DraftKings and FanDuel may be nearing a deal to merge, ESPN reported Friday.

The potential agreement between the companies, which were both valued at over $1 bilion in 2015, was decribed as “imminent” and could be announed as early as next week, according to unnamed sources cited by ESPN.

If the deal were to happen, the companies would comprise an estimated 90% of the daily fantasy sports industry, which could raise questions from regulators about their influence in the market.

Both companies faced legal troubles after several state legislatures likened the fantasy sports sites to illegal gambling.

The battles over the legality of their businesses have taken a significant financial toll on both companies. A New York Times report this week revealed FanDuel laid off dozens of employees within the last three weeks.

In August, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill that allowed daily fantasy-sports leagues to operate in New York.

Earlier in the year, DraftKings and FanDuel stopped paid contests in New York in response to the pressure over their legality in the state.

The rumored merger between the two companies, which began in January, appeared to have stalled in the past over a disagreement between the two CEOs about who would lead after the merger.

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