Murdochs Fox Corp in legal dispute with Sportsbet
owner Flutter - 7th April 2021
Lachlan Murdoch, Fox in the US has pushed heavily
into betting. CREDIT: BLOOMBERG
Murdoch familys US focused media business Fox
Corporation is suing the owner of prominent wagering
brands Betfair and Sportsbet in a dispute over the
fast growing fantasy sports and betting website FanDuel.
legal action, launched in New York overnight, highlights
chief executive Lachlan Murdochs focus on digital
sports betting assets and comes amid intense speculation
the company is considering a push into the Australian
online wagering market.
a case filed with New Yorks Judicial Arbitration
and Mediation Services, Fox Corp argues it should
be able to buy an 18.6 per cent stake in the unlisted
FanDuel at an US$11.2 ($14.6) billion valuation -
the same price at which Flutter upped its take in
the business in December.
disagrees and says Fox should pay a market price to
increase its stake in the business which offers fantasy
sports and horse betting products. FanDuel has been
linked with a sharemarket float in the US.
Corp obtained the option to lift its stake in FanDuel
as part of Flutters £10bn ($18 billion)
merger with The Stars Group, which jointly runs Fox
Corps sports betting platform FoxBet. Fox Corp
has a 2.6 per cent stake in Flutter. A Fox Corp spokesperson
confirmed the lawsuit had been filed.
Murdochs aggressive push into sports betting
has underpinned to a sharp increase in Fox Corp shares,
pushing its market value comfortably above $US20 billion
($26 billion). Last month, this masthead reported
that Fox Corp has worked with other investors on a
potential bid for parts of ASX-listed gaming operator
Corp, which owns the controversial US pay TV channel
Fox News and the Fox free-to-air broadcast network,
was the first major media company that tried to directly
profit from a US Supreme Court ruling that effectively
legalised sports betting in the US.
the fight over Fan Duel is not resolved, it could
result in Fox Bet making a more aggressive push into
wagering and would pit the two companies as rivals
as opposed to affiliates.
Corp registered a trademark for its betting arm in
Australia last October, in what was considered a clear
sign of the companys intentions in the local
sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity because
talks are confidential previously said Mr Murdoch
was weighing up potential partnerships with local
gaming companies or working with a consortium on a
potential deal for Tabcorps bookmaking and media
Sydney Morning Herald)