French national lottery operator Française des Jeux (FDJ) has finalised its acquisition of online horse racing betting site ZEturf Group.

The announcement completes a process that began in November last year when FDJ struck the acquisition deal. The transaction places ZEturf’s value at €175.0m (£151.6m/$185.0m).

Completion comes after the French Competition Authority (l’Autorité de la Concurrence) gave its approval to the deal last month.

Founded in 2001, ZEturf employs approximately 100 people and generated over €50.0m in revenue in 2022. Alongside online horse race betting, it offers internet sports betting via the ZEbet brand.

“The acquisition of ZEturf marks a new chapter for FDJ,” CEO and chairwoman of FDJ, Stéphane Pallez, said. “It strengthens our position in the French market for online games open to competition.

“Following the launch of our poker business, our entry into the world of online horse-race betting rounds out our diversified online range and bolsters FDJ Group’s growth prospects while remaining aligned with our responsible gaming model.”

FDJ satisfies competition regulator’s concerns

FDJ plans to put in place a new organisational structure for the business. This, it says, is in line with commitments made to l’Autorité de la Concurrence and will make the most of expected synergies.

The regulator also flagged certain other issues during its approval process. These included how the combined entity could make it more difficult for competitors to access betting pools managed by the business and would have the option of removing competitor’s bets from these pools.

In response, FDJ agreed to separate its monopoly and competitive gaming operations. It has committed to setting up separate websites and applications for each business area, with no common gateway or homepage connecting them. There will also be separate user accounts for each activity.

FDJ will also refrain from creating a customer database to promote competitive gaming activities, which would include monopoly player data.

In addition, FDJ will not promote its competitive gaming activities in any of its retail outlets or online lottery hubs. Separate social media accounts will be maintained and its sales team will receive training on how to respect these commitments.

The business also agreed to allow licensed operators in France to access the common pool of horse racing betting stakes it manages. As such, FDJ will continue to maintain current pooling agreements at the date of the acquisition.

These actions were enough for l’Autorité de la Concurrence to give the deal the green light.

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