Churchill Downs Inc. has announced that the United States Justice Department has asked for more information related to its proposed $126.8-million deal to buy online rival Youbet.com.
The racetrack operator and Youbet.com issued a statement Jan. 25 saying they are gathering the information and will continue to work with the Justice Department on their review of the transaction.
They referred to the Department of Justic action as “second requests,” which they said "have the effect of extending the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvement Act of 1976, as amended, until 30 days after both parties have substantially complied with the requests, subject to any modifications of the requests to which the DOJ may agree."
Industry officials said privately racetrack officials and others have been contacted by the Department of Justice and asked questions about the proposed merger.
The potential acquisition announced in November would give CDI, which operates the TwinSpires.com advance deposit wagering system, a bigger slice of the Internet wagering sector. The company is betting that online wagering will keep up a fast pace in an industry that has been sluggish during the recession as gamblers tighten their spending.
The acquisition, announced Nov. 11, 2009, is expected to close during the first half of 2010.