Party Gaming settles With Empire for £145 Million
Following our earlier story on the subject, Parent company of online poker giants Party Poker, Party Gaming PLC, have settled the dispute with Empire Online for a reported £145 million.
The total figure settled relates to certain assets which Party Gaming PLC will acquire from Empire Online. PartyGaming stated that it has agreed to acquire the business, assets, player databases and intellectual property relating to EmpirePoker and the EmpirePoker website.
Empire Online had sued Party Gaming, its former partner, in December 2005 for a breach of contract after the Party Gaming ringfenced its own poker players from skin poker rooms.
A spokesman for Party Gaming PLC said: "The acquisition brings its skins strategy to a close and consolidates its leading position in online poker ahead of the launch of the fully-integrated, Party-branded platform."
The deal now awaits backing from share holders. However, Empire Online noted shareholders representing 56 per cent of its shares have backed the deal.
After the original lawsuit was opened against Party Gaming PLC, the company dismissed Empire Online's claims as "clutching at straws". But, with a backing of UK judge who highlighted the strength of Empires claims, an out-of-court settlement seemed the natural conclusion to this fascinating case, as the judge suggested.
Empire Online are now left with a decision on what to do with these funds. Rumours in the poker world suggest they may launch their own in-house software brand to compete with Party Poker and other leading online poker rooms.
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