French lottery operator Française des Jeux (FDJ) has been given the green light by France’s national competition regulator, l’Autorité de la Concurrence, to acquire online horse racing betting site ZeTurf Group. The regulator assessed the risk that the combined entity could reduce competition within the horse racing betting industry to ensure the merger meets its standards.
“The analysis conducted by l’Autorité demonstrated that the new entity had the ability and incentive to consider implementing such strategies and that they would have been effective to the detriment of ZeTurf’s competitors,” the competition authority said.
The regulator then highlighted the potential competition issues regarding horse racing. To address their concerns, FDJ committed to separating its monopoly and competitive gaming operations. They agreed to set up separate websites and applications for each business area, with no common gateway or homepage connecting them. Player accounts would also remain separate for each activity, and FDJ would not create a customer database to promote its competitive gaming activities. They have also promised not to promote their competitive gaming activities in any of their retail outlets or online lottery hubs.
In addition, FDJ has agreed to allow any French licensed operator access to the common pool of horse racing betting stakes it manages. FDJ’s planned acquisition of ZeTurf has been approved by the regulator, with the exclusion of any restrictions imposed on competitors’ access to the pool of horse racing bets that FDJ manages.
The ruling of l’Autorité de la Concurrence confirms that Française des Jeux is able to consolidate its position in the French market, whilst also ensuring that competition in the horse racing betting industry is maintained.
Source: Igaming Business