The rumor mill roared into action this morning as a post on twoplustwo which most veteran posters immediately dismissed as a hoax began to gain credibility. The post by user ‘PS
Usually such posts would face instant deletion but the moderators received independent corroborating information and decided to the leave the thread open. The thread, which had more than 600 posts after only a few hours is filled with speculation over how such a deal could have come about and what may have happened between Groupe Bernard Tapie and the Department of Justice, as many felt that a deal between the two parties was imminent.
iGaming France confirmed at 5:30 PM CET that Laurent Tapie had confirmed that the deal was off due to some sort of ‘sabotage’. The tweet from iGaming France read:
Laurent Tapie confirms deal is off for FTP buyout, insinuates external sabotage over DOJ negociations. More to follow… #pokerstars
A statement shortly thereafter from Groupe Bernard Tapie communicated through eGaming Review stated: “our efforts to obtain final DoJ approval to acquire the assets of Full Tilt Poker have ended without success”.
The best indication that the rumors are true came from Chili Gaming CEO Alex Dreyfus on Twitter who said that PokerStars has paid $750m to the DoJ to complete the sale of Full Tilt with $330m of the sale price being set aside to pay back Full Tilt account holders who had funds held in the wake of Black Friday.
Should the rumors be true, PokerStars would then have a huge monopoly in the online market which several parties have stated may cause some problems with the European Commission who have strict anti-competitive practice laws, but obviously speculation about such details is very premature.
What is very relevant is just what the ‘sabotage’ that GBT referred to in their statement may be. Early speculation is that PokerStars swooped in with a late bid to gazump Tapie’s deal.
At 6pm, further confirmation that a PokerStars takeover might be in the pipeline came from a source within Full Tilt’s Dublin head office. Poker Update have stated that a ‘credible source’ within the Cherrywood office has confirmed to them that the rumors are true.