PartyGaming buys Empire Poker for $250 million

Online gaming giant PartyGaming Plc., has agreed to pay $250 million in cash to Empire Online, owner of Empire Poker and Noble Poker, in return for acquiring former PartyPoker.com skin Empire Poker. The agreement settles an ongoing legal battle between the two Internet gaming firms.

Empire Online originally sought $1 billion in damages from PartyGaming following a contract dispute that erupted between the former partners last fall.

Then, PartyGaming moved its PartyPoker.com players to an improved operating platform, separating them from Empire Poker players and causing Empire to lose a chunk of its player base. Empire Online subsequently launched a lawsuit against PartyGaming in the Gibraltar High Court claiming breach of contract and damages.

The agreement reached this week will see PartyGaming acquiring the business, assets, player databases, and intellectual property relating to Empire Poker, including the Empire Poker brand and the Empire Poker website.

Empire Online agreed to withdraw all legal claims against PartyGaming as part of the settlement.

"This acquisition brings our skins strategy to a close and consolidates our leading position in online poker ahead of the launch of the fully-integrated, Party-branded platform," PartyGaming CEO Richard Segal said in a statement.

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