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Fantasy sports site FanDuel in talks to go public

Golf balls
FanDuel is a fantasy sports site. Photo: Michael Loccisano / Getty Images

FanDuel is in advanced talks to go public, but not via an IPO.

The plan: Multiple sources tell Axios that the fantasy sports site is likely to participate in a reverse merger with Platinum Eagle Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company formed earlier this year by veteran media executive Jeff Sagansky.

  • Huh? Special purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs, are basically management teams that raise money from the public markets, with the promise of then buying one or more companies.
  • Platinum Eagle raised $300 million earlier this year and currently trades on the NASDAQ.

It's unclear how much Platinum Eagle is paying for the company, or for what percentage. FanDuel last year claimed its fully-diluted value was $1.2 billion, which was calculated for the purpose of a merger with rival DraftKings that was later scuttled by antitrust regulators.

The New York-based company had subsequently held unsuccessful talks with private investors about a new round of funding, on top of the $435 million or so that it already has raised from firms like KKR, NBC Sports, Comcast Ventures and the NBA.

  • One source says to think about the Platinum Eagle deal more as a fundraise for FanDuel than as an exit for FanDuel investors.

A company spokeswoman declined comment.

Lauren Meier 1 hour ago
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Facebook's growing problems

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios 

Facebook is caught in the middle of a rapidly unfolding scandal over Cambridge Analytica's improper gathering of data on millions of users, and what that exposed about the company's data collection. The fiasco has drawn the interest of lawmakers and regulators and rekindled the debate over its role in the 2016 presidential election.

Why it matters: The bad headlines continued to pile up; "A hurricane flattens Facebook" said Wired, "Silicon Valley insiders think that Facebook will never be the same" per Vanity Fair, "Facebook is facing its biggest test ever — and its lack of leadership could sink the company" from CNBC, and — as we've yet to hear from the company's top leaders — "Where is Mark Zuckerberg?" asks Recode.

Dave Lawler 7 hours ago
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What Trump and Putin did and didn't discuss

President Trump spoke with Vladimir Putin this afternoon, and congratulated him on winning re-election on Sunday. After the call, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was asked whether Trump felt the election had been free and fair, and said it wasn’t up to the U.S. to “dictate" how Russia holds elections.

The bottom line: Trump is not alone in congratulating Putin — leaders in France, Germany and elsewhere have done so this week, as Barack Obama did in 2012. But past administrations certainly have seen it as America’s role to call balls and strikes when it comes to elections abroad, and weigh in when democratic institutions are being undermined. A departure from that approach would be welcomed not only by Putin, but other leaders of pseudo democracies around the world.