Lance Bradley | April 24, 2012 – www.bluffmagazine.com: Speculation has been running rampant for months now that Groupe Bernard Tapie was on the verge of finalizing the acquisition of Full Tilt Poker assets.However, early Tuesday morning the company announced they are no longer pursuing a deal with the U.S. Department of Justice. Instead, sources are reporting that the Full Tilt Poker’s largest competitor before Black Friday, PokerStars, has taken its place.
In a move that caught most industry observers off-guard, reports indicate PokerStars has reached and agreement with the DOJ to acquire the assets of Full Tilt Poker and pay back all players balances stuck on the site since Black Friday, a number in excess of $300 million.
Neither PokerStars or Full Tilt Poker have released any statement confirming or denying that a deal is in place while the DOJ refused to comment on the rumors Tuesday morning.
UPDATE: PokerStars released the following statement Tuesday afternoon:
We’ve had a lot of enquiries and there’s lots of speculation on the forums, so I wanted to address the PokerStars chatter. As you know, PokerStars is in settlement discussions with the U.S. Department of Justice. As such settlement discussions are always confidential, we are unable to comment on rumors. As soon as we have information to share publicly we will do so. – Eric Hollreiser, Head of Corporate Communications for PokerStars
The long-rumored deal that had Bernard Tapie buying Full Tilt Poker and re-launching the site in the coming weeks apparently hit a snag this week. Tapie issued a statement early Tuesday afternoon confirming that they are no longer in the running to rescue Full Tilt.
“Groupe Bernard Tapie regrets to announce that, after seven months of intensive work, our efforts to obtain final approval of the United States Department of Justice of the agreement to acquire the assets of Full Tilt Poker have ended without success,” the statement read. GBT suggested that they were unable to reach an agreement with the DOJ on the repayment of players. It is widely believed that the Tapie Groupe was unable to come up with enough funds to secure the assets and arrange for players to be paid back.
BluffMagazine.com will have more on this story as it continues to develop.