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Kakao to buy Daum in $3 billion deal

Korean messaging and gaming company gains stock listing in Seoul

The Korean mobile messaging service Kakao Corp. has agreed to buy rival company Daum Communications.

According to Bloomberg, the deal is worth around ₩3.1 trillion ($3 billion), and it will allow Kakao to reach the Seoul Stock Exchange without the necessity of an IPO - Daum is already listed.

The new company will trade under the name "Daum Kakao," though both organisations will continue to operate independently for the near future.

The bedrock of Kakao's success is its KakaoTalk messaging service, which earns substantial revenue through free games. In the first half of calendar 2013, the service posted revenue of more than $300 million.

Another major player in the mobile messaging space is the Japanese company Line, which earned more than $70 million from the games on its service in Q4 last year.

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