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Ladbrokes And 888 End Merger Talks

Business, 2007-04-24, by TwoGun

Ladbrokes and 888 recently ended merger talks. The failed merger was mainly due to 888's previous acceptance of US bets. Prior to the UIGEA, 888 had a significant US player base. 888's prior acceptance of US players complicated the deal by potentially exposing Ladbrokes to litigation risk if it bought 888 as well exposing Ladbrokes to other complexities.

The two firms began merger talks shortly after 888 pulled out of the US market in October. If the companies merged, their joint poker room would have become a major player in the industry due to the increased player base. Both poker rooms are currently relatively small, but a joint poker room would have had an above-average player base for a European-focused site.

The failed merger likely means Ladbrokes will not be pursuing online acquisitions in the near future. The same issue that resulted in this deal being called off would be present if Ladbrokes decided to acquire a site like Party Poker or Paradise Poker.

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