Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch Sees ‘Clarity’ Coming in FanDuel Arbitration

Posted on: August 11, 2022, 01:03h. 

Last updated on: August 11, 2022, 08:13h.

Fox Corp. (NASDAQ:FOX) CEO Lachlan Murdoch believes resolution to the media company’s long-running arbitration against FanDuel parent Flutter Entertainment (OTC:PDYPY) could emerge in the coming months.

Fox Flutter
Fox Corp. CEO Lachlan Murdoch, seen above. He says the company’s legal rift with Flutter could soon be resolved. (Image: CNN)

He made remarks about the company’s second-quarter earnings conference call with analysts on Wednesday.

As regards to, Flutter we’re still in our arbitration process with them. We look forward to the clarity of getting through that process, which we expect to be in the next couple of months certainly sort of by the beginning of the autumn,” said Murdoch on the call.

Flutter and Fox are engaged in a now more than a year-long legal spat over the price the latter will pay to buy an 18.6% slice of FanDuel. Flutter wants what it believes is fair market value, while Fox wants the price the parent company paid — $4.175 billion in December 2020 — when it bought out investment firm Fastball’s 37.2%  interest in FanDuel.

History of Fox/Flutter Fracas

In April 2021, Fox confidentially filed a suit against Flutter in New York’s Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services (JAMS). JAMS isn’t a traditional court of law, but its decisions are binding and gives parties a more efficient avenue for settling disputes.

The FanDuel parent doesn’t take issue with Fox’s efforts to acquire the 18.6% stake. Flutter readily acknowledges it will fulfill its contractual obligations to sell that slice to the media conglomerate. However, the Irish gaming company wants what it interprets as fair market value for the percentage of FanDuel.

Despite the erosion in sports betting equities dating back to last year, Flutter likely views almost 19% of FanDuel as worth more than half of $4.175 billion. Fox holds some cards in the negotiations. Notably, the arbitration is believed to hamper Flutter’s plans to spin off part of FanDuel to public investors via a US listing.

There is wiggle room for FanDuel to command a larger market value upon going public potentially. Recent estimates indicate the company controls roughly 47% of the US online sports wagering market, or more than BetMGM and DraftKings combined.

Fox Still Committed FOX Bet

FOX Bet is part of the media company’s partnership with Flutter but falls under the gaming company’s umbrella. Flutter has used that to its advantage, taking shots at FOX Bet since the JAMS arbitration was announced and allowing the business to take a backseat to FanDuel.

Still, Murdoch is optimistic that future growth for FOX Bet could emerge following the resolution of the legal rift against Flutter.

But once that situation is clarified, and also in early September, as you see the NFL season kick off again, you’ll see a lot more activity around FOX Bet and FOX Bet Super 6,” he said on the call.

Murdoch highlighted the broadcaster’s vast television sports rights and its free-to-play app FOX Bet Super 6 as funnels to FOX Bet.