Daily fantasy sports industry leaders DraftKings Inc. and FanDuel Inc. on Wednesday asked a federal court not to stand in the way of their proposed merger, arguing that US antitrust regulators had misjudged the nature of the emerging business in trying to block the deal.
In separate filings in US District Court in Washington, D.C., the companies assailed the Federal Trade Commission’s June move to block the merger between Boston-based DraftKings and New York-based FanDuel.
The decision reflected “an unnecessarily rigid and uninformed application of the antitrust laws to an underdeveloped, nascent industry,” the DraftKings filing said. The filings were in opposition to an injunction that would hold up the deal pending further litigation.
The regulators have argued that the combined company would hurt competition because it would control more than 90 percent of the multibillion-dollar US market for paid daily fantasy contests.
The companies, which offer prize money to paying participants in games based on the performance of real-life athletes, say they compete more broadly with season-long fantasy sports providers.
The filings on Wednesday keep the legal options open for both companies as they weigh whether to fight on in what could be a difficult and expensive legal battle or go their separate ways.
“We are working as quickly as possible to determine the best course of action in the interest of our customers, employees, and investors,” DraftKings said in a statement issued Wednesday by a company spokeswoman.Andy Rosen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @andyrosen.