In a somewhat surprising move, PokerStars has made a decision not to pay money owed to former Full Tilt Poker affiliates.
Most affiliates are small website operators who promoted Full Tilt in order to bring in players (PokerTips.org made the decision to stop running Full Tilt advertisements long before Black Friday hit due to the risks FTP was taking by serving the US market after the UIGEA).
It’s unclear how much money was owed to FTP affiliates, and if there are other factors at play in this decision. This move will likely create a lot of hostility between PokerStars and a major part of the poker world. Since affiliates stiffed by FTP (and now PokerStars) likely won’t wish to promote FTP once it goes live, this strategy may backfire on PokerStars, since affiliate advertising has traditionally been a major driver of traffic to online poker sites (though not PokerStars as much).
PokerStars is still fully repaying both US players and non-US players (though US players have to go through the DOJ). It seems since affiliates were not covered under the DOJ agreement, PokerStars may have made the decision that they simply did not feel liable for that money owed and did not wish to dig into their pockets to make affiliates whole. They may also not want to sever all previous rakeback deals and this is one way to go about it. Perhaps there are some other factors in play, but these are the sorts of bad things that happen to an industry when one company has a near monopoly.