France’s national competition regulator, l'Autorité de la Concurrence, has cleared the country’s national lottery operator Française des Jeux (FDJ) to acquire online horse racing betting site ZeTurf Group.
However, FDJ will have to change several aspects of its operations to address the regulator’s concerns about risks to competition.
In particular, FDJ has committed to separating its monopoly and competitive gaming operations. It also has said it will allow any French licensed operator to access the common pool of horse racing bets it manages.
L’Autorité outlines competition concerns
Despite both FDJ and ZeTurf offering online sports betting, their low combined market share meant this alone did not concern the regulator.
Instead, l’Autorité said problems could come from FDJ’s monopoly on lottery games and retail sports betting.
It argued that, because of its exclusive rights to offer these segments, the new combined business may have been tempted to restrict the competition..