BOSTON and NEW YORK, Nov. 18, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Fantasy sports technology companies DraftKings and FanDuel today announced they have entered into a merger agreement. The transaction is expected to close in 2017. Financial terms were not disclosed. The merger of FanDuel and DraftKings, which offer daily, weekly and season-long sports fantasy contests, will bring together two fantasy sports innovators to better serve consumers. The operational efficiencies and cost savings that are expected to result from the merger will drive a greater focus on developing new products and features, including more variety in contest formats, loyalty programs, enhanced social functionality and ancillary sports-oriented content and experiences, all aimed at creating a more diverse, exciting and appealing experience for fantasy sports players and all sports fans. The merger will also help the combined company accelerate its path to profitability. The combined company will be able to invest in strategic partnerships across the sports ecosystem. Media, advertising and other partners will benefit from access to more products and customers as a result of DraftKings and FanDuel's diverse user base and league relationships, as well as increased investment in advertising. Together, the combined entity can accelerate growth of the fantasy sports category, drive broader and deeper fan engagement, and more efficiently reach those players. "We have always been passionate about providing the best possible experience for our customers and this merger will help advance our goal of building a transformational global sports entertainment platform," said DraftKings CEO Jason Robins. "Joining forces will allow us to truly realize the potential of our vision, and as a combined company we will be able to accelerate the pace of innovation and bring a richer experience to our customers than we ever could have done separately." Both FanDuel and DraftKings are still relatively new companies and operate in a rapidly evolving and changing space. By combining and streamlining resources, DraftKings and FanDuel can accelerate work with government officials to continue to develop a standard regulatory framework. This framework will not only make it easier for the combined entity to thrive in the long-term, but will provide certainty and encourage other companies to make significant investments in the fantasy sports industry. Emerging fantasy sports categories like daily fantasy sports are just one component of a broader industry that has significant potential for sustained growth. Currently, there are 228 million fans of major sports in the U.S. and 57 million fantasy players.