The owner of TikTok has chosen Oracle over Microsoft as its preferred buyer, according to a source familiar with the deal, reports AP
Microsoft on Sunday announced that its bid for TikTok was rejected, a week before President Donald Trump promises to follow through with a plan to ban the Chinese-owned app in the US over spying concerns.
TikTok and the White House declined to comment Sunday. Oracle didn’t return a request for comment but has previously declined comment.
Walmart, which had planned to partner with Microsoft on the acquisition, said Sunday that it “continues to have an interest in a TikTok investment” and is talking about it with ByteDance and other parties.
The Trump administration has threatened to ban TikTok by September 20 and ordered ByteDance to sell its US business, claiming national-security risks due to its Chinese ownership.
Washington worries about user data being funneled to Chinese authorities.
TikTok denies it is a national-security risk and is suing to stop the administration from the threatened ban.
It's not clear if the proposed acquisition will only cover TikTok's US business, and, if so, how it will be split from the rest of TikTok's social media platform, which is popular worldwide. ByteDance also owns a similar video app, Douyin, for the Chinese market.
Any deal must still be reviewed by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, known as CFIUS, a US government group chaired by the Treasury Secretary that studies mergers for national-security reasons. The president can approve or deny a transaction recommended by the panel, though Trump has already voiced support for Oracle as a “great company” that could handle the acquisition.
Microsoft said in a Sunday statement that ByteDance “let us know today they would not be selling TikTok’s US operations to Microsoft”.
Microsoft added that it was “confident our proposal would have been good for TikTok’s users, while protecting national security interests”.
The company said it “would have made significant changes to ensure the service met the highest standards for security, privacy, online safety, and combating disinformation”.
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