South Korea’s antitrust regulator said on Thursday it has started to review the proposed deal by US software giant Microsoft to buy leading game developer Activision Blizzard.

The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) said it plans to see if the merger of the two US firms could hurt competition in the online game market, reports Yonhap news agency.

In January, Microsoft announced a plan to acquire Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion, and it asked the FTC last week to review its proposed takeover for approval.

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The US competition watchdog is also reportedly reviewing Microsoft’s acquisition of Call of Duty (CoD) maker gaming company Activision Blizzard.

Microsoft’s acquisition of video game maker Activision Blizzard is yet another play by the tech giant to secure its stake in the nascent Metaverse and bring more intellectual property (IP) under the Xbox and Game Pass umbrella.

When the transaction closes, Microsoft will become the world’s third-largest gaming company by revenue, behind Tencent and Sony.

Following on the 2014 acquisitions of Mojang (makers of Minecraft) and 2021 acquisition of ZeniMax Media/Bethesda (makers of Doom, Elder Scrolls, and Fallout), Activision Blizzard brings IP like Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Candy Crush to Microsoft’s portfolio.

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