June 21, 2017 / 7:57 PM / in 2 years

Judge approves temporary stop to DraftKings, FanDuel merger

A DraftKings logo is displayed on a board inside of the DFS Players Conference in New York November 13, 2015. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson Picture Supplied by Action Images

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A federal judge has approved a temporary halt of a merger between sport fantasy companies DraftKings and FanDuel.

    Earlier this week, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, California and the District of Columbia said they would seek to stop the merger because the combined company would control more than 90 percent of the U.S. market for paid daily fantasy sports contests.

    Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson of the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia on Tuesday approved a temporary restraining order agreed by the FTC and the two companies.

    The companies announced the deal in November 2016 as a merger of equals that would cut their legal bills.

FanDuel had no comment on the filing but reiterated its comment from earlier in the week that the companies were considering legal options regarding the FTC complaint.

    The companies have a history of aggressive advertising as they battled for market share. They cut ad spending significantly in 2016 and said the combined company could again expand spending on advertising and customer acquisition.

Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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