Empire Seek Action Against PartyGaming.

PartyGaming the world’s largest internet poker operator was yesterday threatened with legal action by Empire Online, one of PartyGamings “skin” partners. Takeover talks between the two companies have now been terminated, and relationships between the two have reached an all time low. Empire ended takeover plans put forward by PartyGaming after receiving a bid of just 60p a share, less than half their estimated 130p a share price.

Empire are now threatening to pursue “vigorous” legal action, after PartyGaming decided to secure their own poker players from those driven to its PartyPoker website by skin sites such as Empire and Coral Eurobet. The decision by PartyGaming to segregate its players away from those of its skin partners, has left Empire a platform of fewer players and less liquidity. Empire has decided to take legal action against PartyGaming “in relation to damage caused by the PartyGaming group in separating the poker system used by PartyGaming and its Skins”.

PartyGaming appear undaunted by the possible outcome of legal action. A PartyGaming statement insisted it was “highly confident of s successful outcome”, also stating “They’re clutching at straws”. Relationships have been further strained by PartyGamings insistence that its original 60p a share bid mirrored its outlook of Empire’s potential and future prospects within the online gambling industry.

PartyGaming’s new policy towards skin sites, has seen it part company with Coral Eurobet, with a rumoured payoff of $18 million. The company has bought new skins in MultiPoker for £8.4 million and Interpops Poker for $ 4million.

The likely outcome of legal procedure between the two companies has raised plenty of interest and speculation within the city, making this one of online gambling’s bitterest feuds. One analyst yesterday pointed that “If PartyGaming was trying to marginalise one of its competitors; it has done a pretty good job. It is not clear to me that they ever intended to make a serious offer for Empire at all”.

Editor, Jackpot.co.uk - 2005-11-22 11:51:54

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