Microsoft's $68.7 Billion Deal For Activision Approved In Another Country
The biggest acquisition in the history of video games--by far--has now been approved by South Korea.
Microsoft's blockbuster $68.7 billion deal to acquire Activision Blizzard has been approved in yet another region: South Korea. The country's Fair Trade Commission announced that it has cleared the deal. According to VGC, the approval was "unconditional."
GameSpot has contacted Microsoft to get more details on the reported clearing of the deal in South Korea. VGC reported that Microsoft and Activision Blizzard games are not very popular in South Korea relative to other parts of the world.
"And there are a number of popular game developers that competitors can deal with alternatively, so there is no possibility of foreclosure to exclude competing game service companies," a statement from the Fair Trade Commission said.
An Activision spokesperson said in a statement shared with GameSpot, "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."
Microsoft's proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard has been approved by South Korea's Fair Trade Commission. South Korea is the 38th country to support the deal https://t.co/6jVD6r47KZ pic.twitter.com/RwsFt8BLKD— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) May 30, 2023
The European Union cleared the deal earlier in May, a move that was expected. What Microsoft was not expecting, though, was how the UK's Competition & Markets Authority blocked the buyout over concerns around the cloud gaming market.
Microsoft and Activision Blizzard are appealing that decision, and Activision Blizzard has hired the lawyer who represented the Queen and Princess Diana.
Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer has said the company does not need to acquire Activision Blizzard to deliver on its ambitions in the gaming space, but doing so would accelerate those plans.
Other places that have approved Microsoft's deal include the aforementioned Japan and EU, as well as Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Serbia, and South Africa, among others. In addition to the appeals process in the UK, Microsoft still needs to get approval in the US by the Federal Trade Commission. A hearing is set for early August 2023.
The $68.7 billion that Microsoft is proposing to pay for Activision Blizzard represents the biggest-ever acquisition in gaming history and among the largest in any business. Microsoft's biggest acquisition ever was LinkedIn, which it acquired in 2016 for $26.2 billion. The Activision Blizzard deal is 2.5x bigger than that.