The acquisition agreement of Activision Blizzard from Microsoft was approved today in South Korea, bringing Microsoft closer to the definitive merger of the developer of games like Call of Duty, Overwatch, Diablo and many others. It is yet another success by Microsoft after China and the European Union.
As reported today by Korea JoongAng Dailythe South Korea Fair Trade Commission unconditionally approved the dealstating that Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard does not it will hurt competition in the console gaming market due to the low market share of console games distributed by the two publishers. As time goes on, more and more market regulators are approving the deal with Microsoft Activision Blizzard, leaving the UK CMA as the only one that has not approved the deal so far. The UK regulator blocked the deal due to concerns over the cloud gaming market, stating that the company would have reason to make Activision Blizzard games exclusive to its cloud services, who are already in a strong position. Because Activision Blizzard develops and publishes some hugely popular games, the CMA believes these titles are important to cloud gaming services and allowing the merger would hurt other cloud gaming competitors. With the CMA standing alone on this matter, Microsoft has appealed the decision and it will be very interesting to see how the situation develops in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, the European Union, on the other hand, did not share any of the CMA’s concerns regarding the Microsoft deal with Activision Blizzard, as the Commission approved the deal earlier this month. We will have to wait what the Federal Trade Commission of the United States will also think about the acquisition. Stay tuned with us for more news.