PokerStars could be breaking EU anti-trust laws
The site’s acquisitions might be deemed as illegal by EU authorities
Google and Facebook have already found to be in violation of anti-trust laws in the European Union (EU). Google was ordered to pay $5 billion by EU authorities and Facebook has basically given direct access to its bank account for continued violations. Online poker giant PokerStars could soon encounter the same fate if authorities decide that some of its business practices also violate EU anti-trust laws.
It wouldn’t be a surprise to find the EU going after PokerStars sooner or later. The EU’s anti-trust laws state, “[To] “regulate anti-competitive conduct by companies to ensure that they do not create cartels and monopolies that would damage the interests of society.” The company acquired Full Tilt Poker before throwing it away and has also recently acquired SkyBet, which operates SkyPoker, and could do the same with that company.
PokerStars also kept hidden for years that it held a stake in major poker news outlet PokerNews, which could certainly lead to accusations that it has attempted to control the market. Eventually, PokerStars acknowledged that the site was nothing more than a news channel that served almost exclusively the benefits of The Stars Group.
Perhaps PokerStars knows that the European lawman is coming. This would be a plausible explanation for the recently rake increases and reductions in player rewards – an attempt to pad its coffers ahead of any possible legal blowback. While there is not yet any definitive action to be launched against PokerStars, it’s more than likely only a matter of time.