SEOUL, May 27 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s antitrust watchdog said Thursday it has approved SK hynix Inc.’s deal to acquire Intel Corp.’s NAND business.

Last October, SK hynix, the country’s No. 2 chipmaker, signed a deal to buy Intel’s non-volatile memory unit for US$9 billion, and submitted an application for approval to Seoul’s Fair Trade Commission (FTC) in January.

SK hynix previously received approval from regulators in the United States and Europe.

Antitrust reviews from five other countries, including China and Britain, are currently in process. The company plans to obtain approval from those countries by the end of this year.

SK hynix was the world’s fourth-largest NAND flash supplier with a market share of 12.3 percent in the first quarter of 2021, while Intel was the No. 6 producer with 7.5 percent, according to industry tracker TrendForce.

The acquisition of Intel’s NAND business is projected to make SK hynix the world’s second-largest NAND flash vendor behind its bigger home rival Samsung Electronics Co.

Meanwhile, the FTC also approved Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) Inc.’s takeover of its peer Xilinx Inc. Last year, the U.S. chip firm announced it will acquire Xilinx for $35 billion.