Microsoft's Acquisition of Activision Blizzard Gains Approval in South Korea

Microsoft gets good news as it fights the UK's disapproval and awaits the decision in the US

Microsoft's Acquisition of Activision Blizzard Gains Approval in South Korea
Photo by Kamil S / Unsplash.

In a major development for the gaming industry, Microsoft's massive acquisition of Activision Blizzard has received approval from South Korea's Fair Trade Commission. This approval adds to the growing list of countries giving the green light to the blockbuster deal, reinforcing Microsoft's position as it awaits the decision of the US government and fights the denial of the deal by the UK's governing body.

While Microsoft may not enjoy the same level of popularity in South Korea as in other regions, Activision Blizzard properties have long been a staple of gaming culture in the Asian nation. Starcraft is practically a national sport, while Overwatch and Warcraft feature heavily in the esports culture. Microsoft will look to build upon that sterling reputation within the country's gaming scene, and the Fair Trade Commission's decision emphasized that alternative game developers and competition in the market mitigate any concerns about monopolistic practices.

The approval from South Korea makes it the 38th country to clear the deal, following China's approval in May. New Zealand is expected to announce its decision on June 9, potentially adding more ammunition to Microsoft's fight for approval.

While the European Union's clearance was anticipated, the unexpected setback came from the UK's Competition & Markets Authority, which raised concerns about the impact on the cloud gaming market. Both Microsoft and Activision Blizzard are appealing this decision, demonstrating their determination to move forward with the acquisition.

Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer has acknowledged that the company's ambitions in the gaming space can be achieved without the acquisition. However, the deal is seen as a means to accelerate Microsoft's plans and solidify its position as a dominant force in the industry.

With approvals from various countries, including Japan, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Serbia, and South Africa, among others, Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard is reshaping the gaming landscape on a global scale. The proposed $68.7 billion deal represents a historic moment in gaming history, positioning Microsoft as a leader in the industry and setting a new benchmark for future acquisitions. Were it to go through, the deal would not only be the largest acquisition in gaming history but also one of the largest across all industries.

While the final step for Microsoft's acquisition is securing approval from the US Federal Trade Commission, with a hearing scheduled for August, the industry eagerly awaits the potential impact of this transformative deal. As the gaming landscape continues to evolve, Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard holds significant implications for the future of gaming and the experiences players can expect.

By acquiring Activision Blizzard, Microsoft gains access to a vast portfolio of popular franchises and intellectual properties, including Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Overwatch. These additions significantly bolster Microsoft's first-party offerings and strengthen its ability to attract and retain a global player base. As Microsoft continues to expand its gaming ecosystem, including the Xbox platform and Xbox Game Pass subscription service, the acquisition of Activision Blizzard positions the company for further growth and dominance in the market.

Source: Video Games Chronicle.

The impact of the deal on the South Korean gaming market, specifically, remains to be seen. While Microsoft may not currently have a substantial foothold in South Korea, the acquisition opens doors for increased exposure and potential growth opportunities. Blizzard has long been beloved among gamers there, with titles such as Starcraft and Overwatch featuring heavily in the country's vibrant gaming culture and competitive esports scene. Microsoft would certainly look to leverage that relationship to gain fans for its existing studios and properties.

The approval of the deal in South Korea marks another milestone in the acquisition process, further reinforcing the belief that Microsoft's ambitious plans are gaining momentum. As the company navigates the appeals process in the UK and awaits approval from the US Federal Trade Commission, the gaming industry eagerly anticipates the potential outcomes and future implications of this landmark acquisition.


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