December 9, 2023

The merger between the PGA Tour and Saudi-backed LIV Golf, initially set to be finalized by December 31, faces potential delays amid regulatory issues within the U.S. and calls for by PGA Tour gamers for a stake. 

The gamers, guided by the Raine Group, are instrumental within the ongoing negotiations, underscoring a shift from earlier discussions that excluded them. 

The U.S. Justice Division’s evaluate of the proposed merger provides one other complexity stemming from antitrust issues.

The gamers, together with notable names like Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, are advocated by Raine Group, marking a stark shift from the preliminary secret talks that concerned solely high-ranking PGA Tour officers and PIF’s chief, Yasir Al-Rumayyan.

The backdrop of those negotiations is the extraordinary rivalry and authorized battles between LIV Golf and the PGA Tour. 

The latter accused LIV of leveraging sports activities to divert consideration from Saudi Arabia’s human-rights report. 

LIV, supported by substantial funding, had tried to entice high gamers like Phil Mickelson and Brooks Koepka with profitable presents.

The proposed deal, bolstered financially by Saudi Arabia’s Public Funding Fund (PIF), faces scrutiny from U.S. lawmakers and is beneath evaluate by the Justice Division. 

The Bloomberg report famous that the PGA Tour and LIV may have separate tour schedules subsequent yr.

Along with regulatory and fairness challenges, the PGA Tour and LIV are tasked with addressing numerous different issues earlier than finalizing the deal. 

Amongst these is unraveling the monetary intricacies of the Public Funding Fund’s (PIF) funding and figuring out the way forward for present contracts with broadcasters and model sponsors. 

Citing an individual conversant in the matter, the report highlighted the absence of a single dominating challenge; as an alternative, the complexity of the negotiation course of itself is influencing the tempo of discussions.

Disclaimer: This content material was partially produced with the assistance of AI instruments and was reviewed and revealed by Benzinga editors.

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