Empire Online filed suit against PartyGaming late last year in Gibraltar, following Party's decision to separate it's poker platform from that of it's skins. Empire Online has now released a statement saying it is in "advanced discussions" with PartyGaming to settle the dispute.
PartyGaming is the world's largest poker room. In December last year it decided to separate it's online poker platform, PartyPoker, from that of it's skins. PartyPoker continued on a newer enhanced version of the software, while the skins were left on the older platform, with a much smaller player base.
Investors feared at the time that many Empire Online players would migrate to the PartyPoker platform, because the players at PartyPoker were considered much easier to beat. As a result of PartyGaming's decision Empire Online's profits fell sharply. However in January Empire Poker reported very good financial results for 2006, especially considering the move PartyGaming had made.
Empire Online reacted by filing a suit in the Gibraltar High Court against PartyGaming, seeking damages of "several hundred million dollars".
Empire now has issued a statement saying it is "in advanced discussions regarding settlement of the outstanding litigation claim with PartyGaming." This statement should be interpreted as a sign that PartyGaming is about to takeover Empire Online. According to Forbes Partygaming intends to pay $200 million for Empire Online.
PartyGaming has not issued a statement yet.
Update: PartyGaming has agreed to buy the "skin" activities of Empire Online for $250 million dollars. The deal is conditional upon the approval of Empire Online's shareholders. Empire Online will now concentrate it's marketing efforts on Noble Poker and Club Dice Casino.