SaveSave story

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.

Jonathan Swan 2 hours ago
SaveSave story

Trump's two-front war

Photo: Jabin Botsford / The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Trump is ending the week with a flop — nowhere close to the border wall funding he wanted in the DACA-less spending bill that congressional leaders released last evening. But he's fulfilling one of his most aggressive campaign promises with his anti-China trade action.

The big picture: Trump's expected announcement today of tariffs on Chinese imports is a big deal, and analysts fear it could provoke a trade war — and it comes as Trump has been battling his own party here at home over the government spending bill.

SaveSave story

The worst flu season in eight years

Note: Activity levels are based on outpatient visits in a state compared to the average number of visits that occur during weeks with little or no flu virus circulation; Data: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

This year's flu season caught many experts off guard with both its sustained prevalence and its virulence. At its peak, there was a higher level of flu-like illnesses reported than any other year during the past eight years. Watch in the visual as it hits its peak around Week 18.

Why it matters: Public health officials try to capture this data when developing the next year's vaccines. And, of course, they want to find better ways to prevent severe flu seasons. There's a "Strategic Plan" to develop a universal vaccine to protect against a wider range of influenza viruses, Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, tells Axios.