Sportingbet and Bwin end merger talks

Sportingbet Plc and Bwin Interactive Entertainment have announced they've ended takeover talks as of today, and it hasn't gone over well for Sportingbet shareholders.

News of the discontinued talks resulted in a 9% drop in Sportingbet shares within hours.

"On March 7," the now Channel Islands-based Sportingbet said in a released statement, "the board of Sportingbet announced it was in discussions with Bwin Interactive Entertainment AG regarding a possible acquisition of Sportingbet.

"These discussions have now been mutually and amicably discontinued."

"Both parties decided to terminate the discussion," Konrad Sveceny, head of Investor Relations at Bwin re-iterated to the Gaming Intelligence Group. "As a result of regulatory and legal changes in a number of markets in which both Bwin and Sportingbet operate, and not just ones with European Union borders, we have not been able to agree on terms."

The two companies have both been beset by the uncertainty in online gaming markets since the passing of the UIGEA last October, with Sportingbet, the owner of Paradise Poker, already selling off their U.S.-facing assets.

Bwin shares however saw a small boost with the news, jumping 4.2%.

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