After a somewhat rocky two months, Microsoft has finally received another approval for the Activision merger, this time from South Korea.
The main reason being that due to their relatively small market share, the South Korean Fair Trade Commission found that Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard will not have a negative impact on competition in the console gaming market.
The number of console users in the domestic market is small, with people showing a relatively higher preference for PC games. The likelihood of Microsoft restricting competition, considering their primary focus on providing cloud-based content through Xbox consoles, is limited.
The FTC has claimed that Microsoft and Activision’s combined market shares of console games are quite small when compared to the worldwide market. The popular Call of Duty series, for instance, has a 6-8% proportion of the global market, but only a 2% share in South Korea.
• The South Korean FTC is separate from the one in the United States. The abbreviation can be misleading.
To put things into context, Xbox’s market share in 2021 in South Korea was between 0% and 10%, while PlayStation controlled a whopping 70% to 80%. Nintendo came in second with 10% to 20%. As Microsoft doesn’t have much of a market presence in South Korea, the FTC thinks that this deal could in fact help boost competitiveness.
Now, UK’s CMA hasn’t approved the deal, but there are chances that their decision may be reversed. After all, Microsoft is all in on closing the deal if CMA agrees to the merger. With South Korea’s approval, the acquisition has now received consent from 38 nations, including China and EU, which granted its approval just a few days ago.
While this move is certainly a positive sign for Microsoft, they still have a long way to go. Till then, we will make sure to keep you updated on all developments as new information becomes available.