April 15, 2024

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South Korea is the latest country to approve Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard acquisition

South Korea is the latest country to agree to Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard

Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard has been approved by South Korea.

the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) It says it “unconditionally agreed” to the deal, saying it has “no qualms” about potential competition restrictions if Blizzard games become exclusives.

KFTC explained that with regard to South Korea specifically, the popularity of Activision Blizzard games is rather low, and therefore their relevance to platform owners is not as important in that region.

The combined market share of games developed and distributed by Microsoft and Blizzard is small, the popularity of major Blizzard games in Korea is not as high as abroad, and there are a number of well-known game developers that competitors can do business with instead, so there is no possibility of foreclosure to exclude companies. competing gaming services,” the KFTC statement read.

“Even in the event of a blockade, the effect of converting competitors’ consumers into service subscribers is minimal given the low popularity of Blizzard games, and competitors have significant market share, so there is no risk of being excluded from the competition.”

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KFTC also indicated that it had discussions with similar competition bodies in other countries to get their views on the deal, but noted that their decisions may differ because Activision Blizzard’s games are more important in those regions.

“Considering that this is a merger of global companies, KFTC exchanged opinions with major external competition authorities through several video conferences and gathered opinions from stakeholders, including competitors, to reach a final conclusion based on a multifaceted analysis of the impact of the merger on the local market.” .

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“However, the different rulings on approving 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 in each country have focused on influencing their domestic markets.”

The proposed acquisition has now won approval from nearly 40 global regulators — earlier this month, both the European Commission and a Chinese competition regulator cleared the deal, which would see Microsoft acquire popular game franchises including Call of Duty and World of Warcraft.

However, the UK and the US continue to be sticking points for Microsoft. In April, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it was blocking the $69 billion deal over concerns about its impact on the emerging cloud gaming market.

Microsoft formally lodged its appeal against the CMA’s decision last week, describing the decision as “bad for Britain”.

The US Federal Trade Commission also sued Microsoft in an attempt to block the proposed acquisition due to antitrust concerns.