It has been confirmed that Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard has now been approved by South Korea. This news comes courtesy of the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) who has announced it has “unconditionally cleared” the deal.
With news of the acquisition all over the internet, it is no surprise that the deal continues to make headlines. This time the headline comes courtesy of South Korea being the latest country to accept the deal. As of now, the KFTC has “no concerns” regarding the potential restrictions if Blizzard games become exclusive.
This is perhaps due to Blizzard games being reportedly unpopular in South Korea as opposed to other countries.
“The combined market share of games developed and distributed by Microsoft and Blizzard is small, the popularity of Blizzard’s major games in Korea is not as high as overseas, and there are a number of popular game developers that competitors can deal with alternatively, so there is no possibility of foreclosure to exclude competing game service companies,” the statement by KFTC reads.
“Even in the event of a blockade, the effect of converting competitors’ consumers to its service subscribers is minimal due to the low popularity of Blizzard’s games, and competitors have a significant market share, so there is no risk of exclusion from competition.”
The statement also reveals that the KFTC did consult with other regions regarding their views on the deal. However, their decision was made easier considering the aforementioned reasons of Activision Blizzard games not being as wide-spread in South Korea.
“Considering that this is a merger between global companies, the KFTC exchanged views with major overseas competition authorities through several video conferences and collected opinions from stakeholders, including competitors, to reach a final conclusion based on a multifaceted analysis of the impact of the merger on the domestic market,” the statement explains.
“However, the different judgements on whether to approve this case are due to the significant differences in the competitive situation of the gaming market in each country and the fact that the competition authorities of each country focused on the impact on their domestic markets.”
As it stands, South Korea joins almost 40 global regulators supporting the acquisition.
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