Report: Korean gov't to investigate Nexon's takeover of Taiwanese firm
South Korea's Fair Trade Commission reportedly intends to investigate Nexon's alleged hostile takeover of Taiwanese game developer and publisher Gamania.
Gamania is one of the largest online game firms in Taiwan, publishing popular titles in Taiwan like Nexon's MapleStory
and NCsoft's Lineage
series. Nexon is said to have purchased 33 percent of Gamania's shares two months ago, 10 percent more than that owned by the company's CEO, according to local newspaper
Gamania has issued a statement saying it wants to remain independent and does not want to merge with Nexon. And South Korea's FTC has accused Nexon of violating the Fair Trade Act, which says any that any merger involving a company with more than a 25 percent market share in an area must be reported to authorities first.
"In light of current online gaming trends, it would be absolutely detrimental to the development of Taiwan’s online gaming industry if a large-scale foreign corporation was allowed to take control of the local industry’s operating channels and resources, whether the integration is horizontal or vertical," said Gamania.
Nexon claims that it believes Gamania's market share makes up less than 25 percent of Taiwan's overall digital content industry, and that it made timely reports to Gamania and the local government securities agency. The FTC, however, says it will "not just take Nexon's word," and plans to review the case.