Oracle looks like it has joined the race to purchase TikTok before becomes a banned company in the U.S. As reported by the FT the tech group is working with investors to try and outbid Microsoft.
Microsoft has been the frontrunners for the acquisition since the executive order to ban TikTok and WeChat was announced. Trump claimed there was “credible evidence” that the company was using personal data to breach U.S. security.
At one stage Twitter was in the hunt. However, the size of the deal was always going to rule the social media company out of any serious involvement in the purchase.
Another company looking to purchase TikTok is probably good news for the short video app. Otherwise it may well have been held to ransom by Microsoft if it remained the only serious bidder.
Oracle to compete with Microsoft over TikTok acquisition
Larry Ellison’s Oracle has held preliminary talks with TikTok's owner over a possible acquisition. Supposedly the company is seriously considering purchasing the app’s operations in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Oracle is working with a group of investors that already have a stage in ByteDance, which is the Chinese version of TikTok.
Microsoft still remains the lead contender for the takeover. In early August the company expressed its intentions to explore a purchase. Reports suggest that Microsft may be looking to take over TikTok’s global operations beyond the countries it outlined this month.
If that is the case, Microsoft would aim to take over operation in Europe and India. However, ByteDance does not wish to sell any assets beyond those in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. This comes from reports close to the company.
Oracle offers a credible alternative to Microsoft
By Oracle entering the race, it has essentially offered another option to TikTok. Oracle's owner, Mr Ellison is a well-known and public supporter of President Trump. He recently held a fundraiser for the US president at his estate.
There is currently no evidence to suggest the White House is more supportive of this deal. However, this may be a motivation in the move.
There are still a number of challenges to this acquisition purely on a technical front. Separating the back-end technology of TikTok from ByteDance could be interesting. Also, the question of price is also very much up in the air at this stage.
Unsurprisingly, this story has taken another twist with the introduction of Oracle to the mix. This does make the prospect of the sale of TikTok more likely. However, with more contenders vying for the sale it could make for a more unpleasant negotiation process.