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With chat apps heating up for games, major online companies merge in Korea

The makers of the remarkably popular mobile messaging platform KakaoTalk are acquiring South Korean ISP Daum in an effort to better compete with platforms like WhatsApp and LINE.
Bloomberg reports that South Korean company Kakao, makers of the remarkably popular KakaoTalk mobile messaging and app distribution platform, will acquire South Korean internet portal provider Daum this year to form Daum Kakao. This merger is noteworthy for game makers because messaging apps like LINE in Japan and WeChat in China (developed by Tencent, who also has a stake in Kakao) are rapidly becoming major game distribution platforms. The merger is expected to wrap up in October and may place Kakao in a better position to compete with Naver, the South Korean company responsible for creating the mega-popular Japan-centric mobile messaging platform LINE. LINE is expected to go public this year and is still much bigger than KakaoTalk, with roughly 400 million users last month compared to KakaoTalk's estimated 145 million.

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