South Korean FTC has "unconditionally cleared" the deal, stating that it has "no concerns" about the potential impact on competition even if Activision Blizzard games are made exclusive under Microsoft's ownership.
Microsoft's proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard has been approved by South Korea, making it the 38th country to give the green light to the deal.
The Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) has granted unconditional clearance to the deal, stating that it has "no concerns" regarding potential competition restrictions that could arise from Activision Blizzard games becoming exclusive under Microsoft's ownership.
The regulator explained that the publisher's games are not widely popular in the country and other game developers and publishers are already holding a substantial market share, which is why it determined that the possibility of unfair competition is minimal.
Activision Blizzard expressed its appreciation for South Korea's approval of the deal, 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."
South Korea joins the growing list of countries that have approved the deal, which also includes China, Ukraine, Japan, Brazil, Chile, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, South Africa, and most notably the European Union – one of the three crucial markets Microsoft needs approval from to finalize the acquisition.
On the other hand, the deal has faced opposition from the other two markets. The US Federal Trade Commission filed an antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft in December, and a hearing is scheduled for August. Additionally, the UK Competition and Markets Authority has announced its decision to block the deal.
Microsoft has officially filed its appeal against the ruling of the UK's regulator. The company presented a summary of its appeal arguments on Monday.
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