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Microsoft-ABK deal approved in South Korea

Asian market is the latest to clear the $68.7 billion acquisition without condition

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Microsoft has won the approval of regulators in South Korea for its proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

According to Korea Xbox News, and confirmed to by a Microsoft representative, the Korea Fair Trade Commission passed the deal unconditionally.

The KFTC found that Microsoft's ownership of Activision Blizzard would not lessen competition in the Korean games market.

In fact, the regulator said that the merger strengthen Microsoft's competitiveness, and may promote more competition in the console games space.

South Korea is the latest market to approve the deal, including China and most notably the European Union, one of three key markets Microsoft needs to secure approval from before the acquisition can be completed.

The other two markets, however, have opposed the deal. The US Federal Trade Commission filed a legal challenge against it back in December, with a hearing due this August, with the UK regulator said it would not approve the merger.

Microsoft has filed its appeal against the UK decision, details of which emerged this morning.

You can keep track of Microsoft's ongoing efforts to secure approval for the proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard via our extensive primer.

Update: Activision Blizzard applauded the deal's approval later in the day, saying, "The world's most formidable gaming companies are based in Asia. Yet their home countries are allowing American companies to compete on a fair playing field, while regulators elsewhere seem to be helping market leaders enshrine their dominance.

"With its unconditional approval for our merger with Microsoft, South Korea joins dozens of other countries - including China and Japan - in welcoming more competition and consumer benefits in the growing gaming industry."

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James Batchelor avatar
James Batchelor: James is Editor-in-Chief at, and has been a B2B journalist since 2006. He is author of The Best Non-Violent Video Games
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