Like many of you, we've been using Yahoo! Fantasy Sports Games for years; about a decade, actually. It's free, it's easy to navigate, it remembers all your past leagues and it's generally on the good side of the force. Unfortunately, with the news that Microsoft may be trying to buy Yahoo!, there's a tiny possibility that we might lose not only the whole Mottram/MJD/Skeets contingent, but we may lose the fantasy games too. Because if Microsoft doesn't win the bid, Yahoo! Sports could be sold off to ESPN.
As if they don't own enough already.
If Microsoft's proposed takeover bid fails, according to a February 4 article in the New York Times, Yahoo Inc. might then consider selling its company in piecemeal, with Yahoo Sports "sold to a company like ESPN." This possibility would produce far less antitrust concern in advertising markets. However, it might still lead to competitive problems in the rapidly expanding markets for fantasy gaming.
Based on a down-and-dirty review of the fantasy sports marketplace, if either ESPN or CBS Sports were to attempt to purchase Yahoo Sports, the number of traditional websites that host fantasy sports games would fall from three to two—a general red flag in terms of competition law. In addition, if the market's low price provider, Yahoo, were gobbled up by a website more likely to charge customer fees, another red flag would be triggered.
We'd like to note: Yahoo! Sports often has more hits than ESPN.com. This seems like a story worth following. Gulp.
Sports And The Law: Could Yahoo Sale Kill Free Fantasy Sports? [Above The Law]