SEOUL, April 21 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s antitrust regulator said Wednesday it will speed up its review of SK hynix Inc.’s deal to acquire U.S. chipmaker 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 it submitted an application for approval to the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) in January.

“We will proceed with the review as swiftly as possible in a way that does not hamper an industry realignment in the chipmaking sector,” the KFTC said in a statement.

U.S. regulatory authorities approved SK hynix’s deal last month, and six other countries, including South Korea and the European Union, are reviewing it for approval.

SK hynix was the world’s fourth-largest NAND flash producer with a market share of 11.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to industry tracker TrendForce.

If the approval is granted, SK hynix is expected to become the world’s second-largest NAND flash vendor behind Samsung Electronics Co.’